Photos of the Sun

Ganymede interior. Drawings, interior of the planets

Ganymede interior. Drawings, interior of the planets

Ganymede is the largest natural satellite that exists in the Solar System. It has a diameter greater than Mercury, and its size is three quarters of Mars. If instead of Ganymede orbiting Jupiter around the Sun, it would have been accepted as one more planet. In fact, there was a time when it was considered by some to be the tenth planet.

The interior of Ganymede is formed by three main concentric layers. As can be seen in the image, it has a central metal core that is almost certainly composed of iron or sulfide. This composition would explain the existence of a magnetic field in the satellite. It is not very likely that the Ganymede nucleus is in a liquid state, so it has been speculated on the belief that there is a large ocean of salt water under the crust of the satellite, which would function as a conducting wire of the intense magnetic field.

The Ganymede nucleus is covered with a rocky mantle composed, above all, of silicates. Finally there is a more external layer, the crust, which is composed of water ice. This last layer could reach up to 800 kilometers thick and seems to be combined with rock, which gives it a darker color than the ice that forms on Earth.

In Ganymede there are craters with diameters ranging between 50 and 400 kilometers. Around some of them you can see bright and dark rays. They are the consequence of the material ejected from inside the satellite.

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