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The Cosmic Oasis and Jupiter's Largest Moons

One of the three largest moons on Jupiter, named Europa, is said to be the most promising place to find alien life in our solar system today.

Recently, there was a mission launched by the European Space Agency called the Juice mission to Jupiter. The Juice mission’s main job is to make observations of Jupiter. The spacecraft's purpose is to also get close-up images of the three largest moons of Jupiter. The three largest moons are Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They are all very icy and it is believed beneath their surfaces, there are oceans.

These moons were not discovered until the 17th century by Galileo. He also discovered a fourth moon on Jupiter named Io. This moon is hot and fiery, covered in mostly volcanoes, which are the most active out of anywhere in the solar system. Galileo discovered these four moons on Jupiter, and he realized that Earth is not the center of the universe.

The moons on Jupiter were just the beginning. Many astronomers have found various other moons that orbit Jupiter since then, about 90 in total. Only recently, a dozen more moons were discovered that astronomers had previously missed. The moons have different backstories, some of them may have formed from dust that used to encircle Jupiter, and others were likely drifting rocks that were drawn in by Jupiter’s severe gravity.

Among the recently discovered moons, one moon is quite strange. This moon may be a remnant of a larger moon. The surface of this moon slides just like Earth’s tectonic plates. Not only did Jupiter's moons play a big role in Galileo's discovery that Earth is not the center of the universe, they continue to expand our knowledge of the cosmos.

[Source: Science News Explores]

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