Callisto, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Callisto is one of the four main natural satellites of the planet Jupiter, the third largest moon in the solar system, the second largest of the Jovian system, after Ganymede, and the largest object of the solar system not to be adequately differentiated.

Jupiter, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Jupiter

Discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610, Callisto has a diameter of 4 821 km, equivalent to 99% of the diameter of the planet Mercury but only about a third of its mass.

Mercury, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Mercury, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Without an internal magnetic field and just outside the radiation band of the gaseous giant, it does not interact particularly with the Jupiter magnetosphere.

Callisto is composed, more or less in equal measure, from rocks and ice. On its surface, the presence of water ice, carbon dioxide, silicates and organic compounds has been detected spectroscopically. Studies conducted by the Galileo probe have revealed that Callisto could have a small nucleus of silicates and perhaps a layer of liquid water below the surface, at depths greater than 100 km. The surface of Callisto is the oldest and most heavily cratered of the solar system.

Solar system, definition and study. A-Z Index of Cognitio.

Solar system

There are no traces of subsoil processes, such as plate tectonics or volcanism; there is no sign that a geological activity has ever occurred in the past and the evolution of its surface has mainly been produced by meteoric impacts. The probable presence of an ocean in the subsoil of Callisto leaves open the possibility that it can accommodate life. However, conditions appear to be less favorable than in neighboring Europa. Several space probes, Pioneer 10 and 11, Galileo and Cassini have studied Callisto, which, due to its low levels of radiation, has long been considered the most suitable place for a human base in a future exploration of the Jovian system . Callisto was probably formed by slow accretion in the sub-nebula of Jupiter, a disk of gas and dust that surrounded the planet after its formation. However, unlike Ganymede it is only partially differentiated, and this is due to the fact that it probably never heated up sufficiently to melt its frozen component.

Callisto, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

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Callisto, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Callisto