Amalthea (moon)

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Amalthea (pronounced /ˌæməlˈθiːə/ AM-əl-THEE, or as in Greek Αμάλθεια) is the third moon of Jupiter in order of distance from the planet. It was discovered on September 9, 1892, by Edward Emerson Barnard and named after Amalthea, a nymph in Greek mythology.[8] It is also known as Jupiter V.

Amalthea is in a close orbit around Jupiter and is within the outer edge of the Amalthea Gossamer Ring, which is formed from dust ejected from its surface.[9] From its surface, Jupiter would be an astonishing sight in its sky, appearing 46.5 degrees in diameter.[10] Amalthea is the largest of the inner satellites of Jupiter. Irregularly shaped and reddish in color, it is thought to consist of porous water ice with unknown amounts of other materials. Its surface features include large craters and high mountains.[3]

Amalthea was photographed in 1979 and 1980 by the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, and later, in more detail, by the Galileo orbiter in the 1990s.[3]


Discovery and naming

Amalthea was discovered on September 9, 1892, by Edward Emerson Barnard using the 36 inch (91 cm) refractor telescope at Lick Observatory. It was the last planetary satellite to be discovered by direct visual observation (as opposed to photographically) and was the first new satellite of Jupiter since Galileo Galilei's discovery of the Galilean satellites in 1610.[8]

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