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Solar system
Jupiter's moon, Ganymede
Age

4.5 billion years, about the same age as Jupiter

Location

Solar system, in orbit around Jupiter

Avg. distance from Jupiter

1,070,400 km (665,000 mi)

Diameter

5,268 km (3,270 mi)

Mass

1.4819 x 1023 kg

Orbital period around Jupiter

7.15 days. The same side of Ganymede always faces Jupiter. It takes the same amount of time to make one revolution on its axis as it does to complete an orbit around Jupiter.

Distinguishing features

Ganymede, one of the moons discovered by Galileo, is the largest moon in the solar system. It is even larger than the planet Mercury. Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system known to have a magnetic field. It has a spherical shape and is composed primarily of iron, rocks, and water ice. Below its icy surface is believed to be a salt-water ocean.

Jupiter's moon, Ganymede

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Description

"Fast Facts: Jupiter's moon, Ganymede" is a table that lists the moon's age, location, average distance from Jupiter, diameter, orbital period around Jupiter, mass, and distinguishing features. A picture of Ganymede is included.

Printer-friendly web page
Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A large-number recognition and ordering activity. Have students review several Fast Fact moon tables, including this one. Have students read the tables to find each object's mass. Then ask them to arrange the objects according to their mass, from smallest to largest. Students also can arrange the objects according to their diameter.

A math activity. Use Newton's law of gravitation, the distance between Io and Jupiter, and the masses of the two objects to determine the gravitational force between them. (Recommended for grades 10-12)

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

Related materials

Amazing Space resources by topic: Solar system

HubbleSite: Press releases on Moons