the moon paper

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In our solar system, some moons orbit various planets

These moons vary in size, but they are typically smaller than their host planets. Ganymede is an example of such a moon, and it is one of our solar system's largest. In comparison to the other moons, Ganymede is large enough to be counted as a planet, but only if it rotated around the sun rather than Jupiter.

The Layers of Ganymede

The heart, mantle, and spherical shell are among these layers. Ganymede's nucleus comprises a spherical metallic iron that creates a magnetic field, giving the moon its uniqueness (Williams). The magnetic field is suspended within the massive magnetosphere of the planet Jupiter. Surrounding the core is the mantle, which is made up of a spherical shell of rock. The outer layer is composed of another spherical shell mainly made of ice, and it surrounds the core and the rock shell. On the outer region, the ice shell is comparably thicker, approximately eight hundred kilometers (Williams). The surface of the moon is the uppermost region of the ice shell. Essentially, the ice shell is made up of ice though scientists suggest it contains some traces of rocks. A thin layer of material made of high quantities of rocks is found in the ice near the surface (Williams).

The Atmosphere and Surface of Ganymede

In 1996, astronomers observed a tenuous atmosphere of oxygen in Ganymede using a Hubble Space Telescope (Kelch 24). Though the atmosphere of this moon contains oxygen, it does not support known life forms, and therefore, its existence presents an interesting mystery to science. Many scientists believe the absence of life in this moon is due to the presence of a thin layer of oxygen that is insufficient to support any living organism. Through further detailed spacecraft observation, two types of terrain have been discovered on its surface. One portion of this terrain is characterized by highly cratered dark regions while the remainder larger portion of the terrain is covered by lightly grooved substances that form intricate patterns across the surface of the moon (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Astronomers suggest that these grooves were formed as a result of tensional faulting. The grooves are extensively long and can run several kilometers across the surface of Ganymede. Besides, few craters have been discovered on the grooves that are suggested to have been formed at the expense of the darker crust.

Distinguishing Features of Ganymede

There are several distinguishing features of Ganymede. Its mean radius of one thousand six hundred and thirty-five miles makes Ganymede the largest moon in the solar system (Zimmerman). During the day, its surface temperatures average about minus one hundred and seventy-one degrees while during the night the temperatures drop to about minus one hundred and ninety-three. Astronomers classify Ganymede as the third Galilean satellite and the seventh moon moving around Jupiter covering about six hundred and sixty-five thousand miles (Zimmerman). It is estimated that this moon takes seven Earth-days to complete one cycle of rotation around Jupiter. Therefore, it is apparent that Ganymede as one of the moons in the solar system is the largest and exhibit several unique features that distinguish it from other moons.

Works Cited

Zimmerman, Kim. "Ganymede: Facts about Jupiter's Largest Moon"., 2017, Accessed 18 February 2017.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "Ganymede - In Depth | Planets - NASA Solar System Exploration". NASA, 2017, Accessed 17 February 2017.

Williams, Matt. "What Is The Largest Moon In The Solar System?” Universe Today, 2017, Accessed 17 February 2017.

Kelch, Joseph W. Small Worlds: Exploring the 60 Moons of Our Solar System. Englewood\Cliffs, NJ: J. Messner, 1990.

January 05, 2023




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Planet Moon Universe

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