Jupiter's 67 Moons
by Ron Kurtus
Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has 67 moons orbiting the planet. Of those moons, 53 are named moons. Fourteen more have been discovered but have not been given official status or names.
(Imagine if the Earth had 67 moons that could be seen in the night sky. That would be weird!)
The first four Jupiter moons discovered are large enough to be seen from Earth with a common telescope. The other moons have been observed with astronomical telescopes and space satellites. The 49 named moons have been thoroughly studied, while the remaining smaller 14 moons still need to be studied.
Questions you may have include:
- What are the four largest moons?
- What are the other named moons?
- What are the smaller unnamed moons?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Four largest moons
The planet Jupiter's four largest moons are:
Each of these moons is larger the our Earth's Moon.
They are called the Galilean moons or satellites after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who first observed them in 1610.
(See Jupiter's Galilean Moons for details.)
Other named moons
Jupiter has 49 other named moons that are smaller than the Gallean moons. Since they are smaller than the major four moons, studies about them is still ongoing.
The moons are listed below in alphabetical order:
- Jupiter LI
- Jupiter LII
Jupiter also has 14 provisional or unnamed moons:
- S/2003 J2
- S/2003 J3
- S/2003 J4
- S/2003 J5
- S/2003 J9
- S/2003 J10
- S/2003 J12
- S/2003 J15
- S/2003 J16
- S/2003 J18
- S/2003 J19
- S/2003 J23
- S/2011 J1
- S/2011 J2
Astronomers are still studying these smaller moons.
Jupiter has 67 moons orbiting the planet. Of those moons, four are large enough to have been observed by Galileo in 1610, 49 have since been studied and named, and fourteen more have been discovered but have not been given official status or names.
Be inspired by discoveries in Astronomy
Resources and references
Jupiter: Moons - NASA
Moons of Jupiter - Wikipedia
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Jupiter's 67 Moons