Trivia

Hard

Jupiter’s Largest Moons Are Referred To As The?

White Orphans
Four Sisters
Galilean Moons
Quadrivium
A composite photo of Jupiter with the four Galilean moons.
NASA, JPL, DLR/Wikimedia

Answer: Galilean Moons

While we’re content here on Earth with a single moon, Jupiter has an entire football squad and then some of satellite companions. The gas giant has 79 known moons and has the largest number of moons with reasonably stable orbits in the entire Solar System.

The four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, were discovered by famed astronomer Galileo Galilei (and Simon Marius) in 1610 and, in his honor, are referred to as the Galilean Moons. The four moons, discovered when Galileo made improvements to his telescope design, represent the first satellite bodies observed by humanity besides our own moon.

Though we call them Galilean Moons today, Galileo himself was a bit more humble about naming them and, upon discovery, proposed they be called Cosmica Sidera or “Cosimo’s Stars” in honor of his patron Cosimo II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Bonus Trivia: The names for the Galilean Moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, were actually chosen by Simon Marius.

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