Jupiter and Its Satellites

The Galilean moons. From left to right, in order of increasing distance from Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. NASA/JPL/DLR - http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01299
The Galilean moons. From left to right, in order of increasing distance from Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. NASA/JPL/DLR – http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01299

The largest planet in our solar system bears the Roman name for the king of the gods, Jupiter. His Greek equivalent is Zeus. All four of the main satellites are named for victims of Zeus’ lust, a nymph, two mortal women, and a mortal male.

Io: An Argive nymph whom Zeus (Jupiter) transformed into a white heifer to avert his wife Hera (Juno)’s jealousy. Hera, suspicious, set the guard Argos Panoptes upon the heifer, but he was killed by Hermes and Io was free. Then Hera drove her mad by sending a gadfly after her. Traveling around in torment, Io finally reached Egypt where Zeus restored her human form. She gave birth to their son Epaphos.
Europa: A Phonecian whom Zeus, in the guise of a white bull, abducted. Her disappearance was instrumental in the story of the founding of the Greek city of Thebes. The children of Europa and Zeus were Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthys.
Ganymede: A Trojan prince (son of the eponymous Tros or Laomedon), whom Zeus fell in love with. He carried the boy off as an eagle and made him cup-bearer of the gods. He became the constellation Aquarius.
Callisto: An Arcadian princess and follower of the virgin hunting goddess Artemis/Diana. The result of Zeus’ seduction was a son named Arkas and Artemis’ punishment: Callisto was turned into a bear. When Arcas was about to shoot the animal he didn’t realize was his mother, Zeus transmuted the mother and son into a constellation.

 

Those are the main ones. Here is NASA’s list of all the satellites of Jupiter:

1 . Io
2 . Europa
3 . Ganymede
4 . Callisto
5 . Amalthea
6 . Himalia
7 . Elara
8 . Pasiphae
9 . Sinope
10 . Lysithea
11 . Carme
12 . Ananke
13 . Leda
14 . Thebe
15 . Adrastea
16 . Metis
17 . Callirrhoe
18 . Themisto
19 . Megaclite
20 . Taygete
21 . Chaldene
22 . Harpalyke
23 . Kalyke
24 . Iocaste
25 . Erinome
26 . Isonoe
27 . Praxidike
28 . Autonoe
29 . Thyone
30 . Hermippe
31 . Aitne
32 . Eurydome
33 . Euanthe
34 . Euporie
35 . Orthosie
36 . Sponde
37 . Kale
38 . Pasithee
39 . Hegemone
40 . Mneme
41 . Aoede
42 . Thelxinoe
43 . Arche
44 . Kallichore
45 . Helike
46 . Carpo
47 . Eukelade
48 . Cyllene
49 . Kore
50 . Herse

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