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How many moons does Jupiter have?

How many moons does Jupiter have?
Kayleigh Snow from Stockton on Tees (Aged 5-14)

Why does Jupiter have so many moons?
James from West Midlands (age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system, with four planet-sized moons and many smaller moons, Jupiter forms a kind of miniature solar system. Jupiter resembles a star in composition. In fact, if it had been about eighty times more massive, it would have become a star rather than a planet.

    On January 7, 1610, using his primitive telescope, astronomer Galileo Galilei saw four small ‘stars’ near Jupiter. He had discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons, now called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Collectively, these four moons are known today as the Galilean satellites.
    Since then big telescopes on earth and a satellite called Galileo flying around the planet have taken the number to 62. The last 12 being discovered in 2003. Only 49 have names as the others are really too small to deserve a name.

    http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Jupiter

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