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Overview of Jupiter :: Classification of Jupiter
Classification of Jupiter
There were initially four groups It used to be thought that Jupiter's moons were arranged neatly into four groups of four, but recent discoveries of many new small outer moons have complicated the division; there are now thought to be six main groups, although some are more distinct than others.
Europa , one of Jupiter's many moons.
The inner groups of four small moons all have diameters of less than 200 km, orbit at radii less than 200,000 km, and have orbital inclinations of less than half a degree.
The four Galilean moons were all found by Galileo Galilei , orbit between 400,000 and 2,000,000 km, and include some of the largest moons in the solar system.
Themisto is in a group of its own, and it orbits halfway between the Galilean moons and the next group.
The Himalia group is a tightly clustered group of moons with orbits around 11-12,000,000 km from Jupiter.
Carpo is another isolated case; at the inner edge of the Ananke group, it revolves in the direct sense.
The Ananke group is a collection with rather indistinct borders, averaging 21,276,000 km from Jupiter with an average inclination of 149 degrees.
The Carme group is a fairly distinct group that averages 23,404,000 km from Jupiter with an average inclination of 165 degrees.
The Pasiphae group is a dispersed and only vaguely distinct group that covers all the outermost moons.
It is thought that the groups of smaller moons
may each have a common origin, perhaps as a larger
moon or captured body that broke up into the existing
moons of each group.
Also see about:
Of Jupiter Moon