In news– NASA has predicted that Amalthea will eventually lose its orbit and crash into Jupiter.
About Amalthea moon-
- It is one of Jupiter’s 53 named satellites.
- It was the first to be discovered after the four Galilean moons, and it is the fifth-largest overall.
- It orbits Jupiter at a distance of 112,717 miles, taking 11 hours, 54 minutes to circle the planet — it is the third closest moon to Jupiter, belonging to the “inner moon” group alongside Metis, Adrastea, and Thebe.
- According to infrared photometry, Amalthea has a temperature of 155 Kelvin ± 15 Kelvin.
- Astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard discovered it on September 9, 1892, while astronomer Camille Flammarion suggested the name Amalthea after the Greek mythological figure.
- It was the final planetary satellite in the solar system to be discovered by direct observation — that is, via a telescope rather than an imaging device like a satellite or a probe.
- Not much is known about Amalthea, as it has only been observed by three spacecrafts: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in 1979, and the Galileo spacecraft in 2002.
- Both the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft photographed the Jovian moon during their flybys in 1979.
- Then the Galileo spacecraft captured images of Amalthea at the turn of the 21st century with its Solid State Imaging (SSI) experiment, revealing more details about the unusual moon.
- What is known about Amalthea is that it is an irregularly shaped celestial body marked by large impact craters, hills, and valleys, and it contributes to Jupiter’s faint outer Gossamer Rings.
- According to NASA, it is a potato-shaped, rocky body with a mean radius of 83.5 kilometres.
- Amalthea has a dark, reddish surface marked by impact craters.
- The leading hemisphere (that facing the direction of motion) is some 30 percent brighter than the trailing one, presumably as a result of bombardment by small meteoroids that have entered the Jovian system.
- The red colour probably results from contamination by particles of sulfur and sulphur compounds that are continually shed by the nearby volcanically active satellite ‘Io’.
- Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.
- Jupiter is so large that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside it. More than 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter.
- It is the fifth planet from the sun and its average distance from the sun is 5.2 astronomical units, or AU.
- When viewed from Earth, Jupiter is usually the second brightest planet in the night sky, after Venus.
- The planet is named after Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods in mythology.
- It is also called a gas giant planet and its atmosphere is made up of mostly hydrogen gas and helium gas, like the sun.
- The planet is covered in thick red, brown, yellow and white clouds and the clouds make the planet look like it has stripes.
- One of Jupiter’s most famous features is the Great Red Spot, a giant spinning storm, resembling a hurricane.
- It rotates, or spins, faster than any other planet.
- One rotation equals one day and Jupiter’s day is only about 10 hours long.
- Its orbit around the sun is elliptical, or oval-shaped.
- Jupiter takes 12 Earth years to make one revolution around the sun, so one year on Jupiter is equal to 12 years on Earth.
- Scientists now think Jupiter has 79 moons (includes 53 named moons) and the most recent moons were discovered in 2017.
- The planet’s four largest moons are Ganymede, Callisto, Io (eye-OH), and Europa and these are called the Galilean satellites as Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered these moons in 1610.
- The largest of Jupiter’s moons is Ganymede. It is the largest moon in the solar system and is larger than the planet Mercury and three-fourths the size of Mars.
- Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system known to have its own magnetic field.
- Ganymede and Callisto have many craters and appear to be made of ice and rocky material.
Source: Space News