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Modern Exploration of Galileo's New WorldsFour hundred years ago Galileo turned his telescope to the heavens and changed the way we view the cosmos forever. Among his discoveries in January of 1610 were four new 'stars', following Jupiter in the sky but changing their positions with respect to the giant planet every night. Galileo showed that these 'Medicean stars', as he named them, were moons orbiting Jupiter in the same manner that the Earth and planets revolve about the Sun in the Copernican theory of the solar system. Over the next three centuries these moons, now collectively named the Galilean satellites after their discoverer, remained tiny dots of light in astronomers' telescopes. In the latter portion of the twentieth century Galileo's new worlds became important targets of exploration by robotic spacecraft. This paper reviews the history of this exploration through the discoveries made by the Galileo mission from 1995 to 2003, setting the stage for on-going exploration in the new century.
Document ID
20150008484
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Johnson, Torrence V. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 20, 2015
Publication Date
January 6, 2010
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
IAU Symposium 269: Galileo''s Medicean Moons - their impact on 400 years of Discovery(Padova)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
space vehicles
Europa
Io
Ganymede
planets
satellites
Callisto
Astronomy
Jupiter