Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 24: Jupiter and its Moons

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. It is one of the brightest objects in the night sky as well. Its mass is only one thousandth times that of the Sun. However, it is much massive than all other planets combined. However, it is composed of gases, mainly hydrogen and helium. Jupiter does not have a hard surface like the earth. Nevertheless, due to its mass, it has a much larger gravitational force than earth. Therefore it has 67 moons orbiting around it. Much of them are small in size and have been discovered only recently. The first moons to be discovered were observed by Galileo in around January 1610. These are the largest moons of Jupiter and are collectively known as Galilean Moons.

1. The Romans named the planet after their god Jupiter. This god is the king of gods in Roman mythology. He is also the god of sky and god of lightening. According to Roman mythology, he is the father of Mars and Vulcan. The symbols of Jupiter are the lightning bolt and the eagle. Jupiter’s consort, the Queen of Gods, was the Goddess of marriage and childbirth. Who was Jupiter’s consort in Roman mythology?

2. Jupiter has a large characteristic spot which was spotted in the 17th century by astronomers. This is actually a giant storm which appears as a spot. Astronomers have named it to signify its size and color. What is the name given to this characteristic feature on Jupiter?

3. The largest moon of Jupiter is larger than the smallest planet of the Solar System, Mercury. It has been named after a divine hero in Greek mythology. This moon completes an orbit around Jupiter in seven days. It is composed of satellite rock and ice. Recently scientists found evidence that its interior may contain layers of oceans of liquid water and ice. They speculate that these oceans may support life. What is the largest moon of Jupiter?

4. The first mission by a space probe to Jupiter was made in the 1970s when an American space probe undertook the journey. It was launched on March 3, 1972. Four months later, the probe entered the asteroid belt, thereby becoming the first space probe to do so. By November 1973 it had started photographing Jupiter. After its study of Jupiter, the space probe continued its journey to the far reaches of the Solar System. Radio communications were lost with the probe in 2003. What is this space probe?

5. In July 1994, a comet broke up and collided with Jupiter, giving scientists an opportunity to observe an extra terrestrial collision of Solar System objects. This collision gave new information about Jupiter. The collision also highlighted Jupiter’s role in reducing space debris in the Inner Solar System. Since Jupiter has a large gravitational force, it has the ability to attract many objects which arrive from outer space. The comet which collided was named after the astronomers who discovered it. What was the name of the comet?

Answers to Quiz 23: Football World Cup 1966-70

1. Pickles
2. The Game of their Lives
3. Mozambique
4. West Germany
5. Teofilo Cubillas

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