The Galilean Moons of Jupiter
Recommended For: Ages 9 and Up
Badges: Space & the Past, Writers in Space
The Earth has one moon. Whereas other planets have lots of moons. Jupiter (the largest planet in our solar system) is believed to have 79 moons! 53 of those moons have been given names. The other 26 moons are still waiting their official names. In this activity, learn about Jupiter’s moons and consider what you might name them.
You Will Need
Good internet connection
Pencil and paper
White coffee filters
The four largest moons orbiting around Jupiter are called the “Galilean Satellites” after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who first observed them in 1610. Their names are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Learn more about them here.
What are the Galilean moons like? What are the differences between them?
How do we know what these more are like?
Could any of these moons support life?
How long would it take to get to these moons?
Watch or Read
Take a Crash Course on Jupiter’s moon here.
Interested in learning some more? Read this article by NASA.
Imagine that you are given the task of naming the 26 unnamed moons of Jupiter. Create a list of 10 names that could be given to the moons. Be sure to read about these unnamed moons to get ideas for your list of names.
An acrostic poem is a pome where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. Write an acrostic poem about the Galilean Moons of Jupiter. Use the letter GALILEAN.
Try creating window decorations of the four Galilean moons for your room. To do this project, first examine photos of the exteriors and interiors of the four moons. You can find these here. Use markers to create the inside and outside of your moons on coffee filters. Label each moon and hang them in your window.
Test Your Learning
Challenge yourself with this quiz to see how much you have learned about the Galilean moons of Jupiter!
Europa - Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Ganymede - Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Callisto - Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernaut badge? Share with the community your names for the unnamed moons of Jupiter, your acrostic poem or window decorations. Tell us what you learned exploring Jupiter’s moons!