Galileo observations of Jovian satellites
Chapman, Clark R. Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona.
- Ganymede and Callisto
- Additional Readings
When the Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995, it first dropped a probe through the planet's atmospheric clouds. Data were relayed to Earth via the Galileo Orbiter, sweeping past Jupiter before going into orbit. When the Galileo Orbiter flew just 835 km (519 mi) above Ganymede's surface on June 27, 1996, it began devoting much of its resources (its on-board tape recorder and its radio downlink to Earth) to studying Jupiter's four large galilean satellites, discovered by Galileo Galilei with his primitive telescope nearly four centuries ago. There were three fly-bys of Europa, the second satellite out from Jupiter and the smallest of the four. The largest satellite, Ganymede, was encountered four times, and outermost Callisto three times. Meanwhile, Galileo studied innermost Io from afar, monitoring its continually erupting volcanoes while avoiding the intense radiation near that body.
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