Photos of the Sun

Ganymede (Jupiter). Solar System Satellites

Ganymede (Jupiter). Solar System Satellites

Ganymede is the largest satellite of Jupiter and the Solar System. If it didn't orbit around the gas giant, it would surely be considered another planet. Its size is only 25% smaller than that of Mars, and it is larger than Mercury. However, its density is very low.

Its structure is also similar to that of the inner planets, with a nucleus (iron and sulfur), mantle (silicates) and surface, which has two well differentiated terrains, one young and one very old. The entire surface, however, is freezing. It also has an extremely dim atmosphere.

On its surface you can see a density of craters by impact similar to that of the Moon, but they are different in shape. While on the Moon and other bodies of the Solar System, the impacts create small elevations around the crater, in Ganymede the ground remains flat, probably due to the low density of its surface. Ganymede also has a magnetic field, so it probably houses an area with water and salt inside.

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Album: Solar System Photos Gallery: Solar System Satellites