Almost all the planets in the universe have satellites, but there are some of them that have a very high number of satellites compared to others. For example, the Earth has only one satellite, which is the Moon, but the gaseous planets like Jupiter or Saturn, have a lot more of them. Jupiter’s satellites are the most numerous of the solar system.
Jupiter is the biggest and the most voluminous of the solar system, and, between other reasons, this is the reason for which Jupiter is the planet that has the most satellites of the solar system. As he is so big, it attracts a big quantity of asteroids or rock pieces, which, as the time passes, they compress or fuse until the point of forming a new moon.
Jupiter’s satellites have been observed and classified during many time. The first person of observing them was Galileo Galilei in the XVIIth century, concretely the 7th January 1610. He did it thanks to a small telescope that he constructed. Galileo observed the planets during some days and he realized that they orbited around the planet.
Galileo could only observe, due to the reason that the technology wasn’t much developed in that epoch, 4 satellites, of a total of 79 that have been observed until nowadays.
The Galilean satellites
The 4 satellites that Galileo observed are the Galilean satellites. The Galilean satellites are: Io, Europe, Ganymede and Callisto. Even if in the beginning Galileo didn’t want to put them these names, when the XXth century arrived these were the names that were used to name these satellites.
The Galilean satellites are the biggest of Jupiter, and it is for this reason that they could be observed by Galileo at his epoch.
All Jupiter satellites
Jupiter has a total of 79 natural satellites. The different Jupiter’s satellites are classified in different forms:
1 – Jupiter has 4 interior satellites:
2 – Jupiter, as I said, has 4 Galilean satellites, that Galileo discovered:
3 – Jupiter has also satellites called irregulars, that make a total of 10:
4 – The last satellite type, which it assembles a total of 61, are the retrograde satellites:
|S/2003 J 12||1||2003|
|S/2003 J 18||2||2003|
|S/2010 J 2||1||2010|
|S/2017 J 7||2||2017|
|S/2016 J 1||3||2016|
|S/2017 J 3||2||2017|
|S/2003 J 16||2||2003|
|S/2017 J 9||2||2017|
|S/2017 J 6||2||2017|
|S/2011 J 1||1||2011|
|S/2003 J 19||2||2003|
|S/2003 J 10||2||2003|
|S/2003 J 23||2||2003|
|S/2017 J 5||2||2017|
|S/2017 J 8||1||2017|
|S/2017 J 2||2||2017|
|S/2010 J 1||1||2010|
|S/2011 J 2||1||2011|
|S/2017 J 1||2||2017|
|S/2003 J 4||2||2003|
|S/2003 J 9||1||2003|
|S/2003 J 2||2||2003|
All these satellites orbit around the gaseous planet with very different orbital periods, and the most part of them have a very small size, but whichever are their characteristics, if they orbit the planet, they are considered Jupiter’s satellites.