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In 1611 Kepler used this word from the Latin for “attendent” to describe the discoveries of Galileo
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They were first seen by Galileo Galilei in December 1609 or January 1610, and recognized by him as satellites of Jupiter in March 1610. They were the first objects found to orbit a planet other than the Earth.
They are among the largest objects in the Solar System with the exception of the Sun and the eight planets, with radii larger than any of the dwarf planets. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and is even bigger than the planet Mercury, though only around half as massive. The three inner moons—Io, Europa, and Ganymede—are in a 4:2:1 orbital resonance with each other. Because of their much smaller size, and therefore weaker self-gravitation, all of Jupiter’s remaining moons have irregular forms rather than a spherical shape.
The Galilean moons were observed in either 1609 or 1610 when Galileo made improvements to his telescope, which enabled him to observe celestial bodies more distinctly than ever. Galileo’s observations showed the importance of the telescope as a tool for astronomers by proving that there were objects in space that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The discovery of celestial bodies orbiting something other than Earth dealt a serious blow to the then-accepted Ptolemaic world system, a geocentric theory in which everything orbits around Earth.
Galileo initially named his discovery the Cosmica Sidera (“Cosimo’s stars”), but the names that eventually prevailed were chosen by Simon Marius. Marius discovered the moons independently at nearly the same time as Galileo, 8 January 1610, and gave them their present names, derived from the lovers of Zeus, which were suggested by Johannes Kepler, in his Mundus Jovialis, published in 1614.
These were the only four moons of Jupiter to be known, until the discovery of the “fifth moon of Jupiter” in 1892.
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POSSIBLE SOLUTION: What is What is satellite?
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