Watch Jupiter's crater-covered moon Callisto clipping the planet's south pole

Watch Jupiter’s crater-covered moon Callisto clipping the planet’s south pole

Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon and the third largest moon in our solar system, will be casting a shadow on the gas giant on Monday, September 5, clipping its south pole.

Covered by craters of ice and rock, Callisto was discovered on January 7, 1610, by Italian scientist Galileo Galilei along with Jupiter’s three other largest moons: Ganymede, Europa and Io.

Callisto is the oldest and most heavily-cratered object in our solar system. The surface is about 4 billion years old and it’s been pummeled, likely by comets and asteroids, according to NASA.

There is evidence of a subsurface ocean on the crater-covered world, putting it on the list of possible places where life could exist beyond Earth.

ESA’s Jupiter ICy moons Explorer (Juice) will complete its first flyby of Callisto in June 2032. The spacecraft will complete a total of 21 flybys of this moon from 2032โ€“2034 (both to explore the moon and to adjust the energy and orientation of Juice’s orbit), coming as close as 200 km from Callisto at nearest approach

Planned for launch in 2023, the Euroepan spacecraft will explore Callisto’s outer shell and ocean down to a depth of a few kilometers to constrain its interior structure and gravity; characterizing the composition and chemistry of its surface, especially any non-water-ice compounds, and identifying how it releases material to space and hunting for signs of past activity and determining how this connects to both its past evolution and the surface features we see today .


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