"Ganymede" is the largest moon of Jupiter and in the Solar System, and the only moon known to have a magnetosphere. It is the seventh satellite outward from Jupiter and third of the Galilean moons, the first group of objects discovered orbiting another planet. Completing an orbit in roughly seven days, Ganymede participates in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance with the moons Europa and Io, respectively. With a diameter of 5,268 km, it is 8% larger than the planet Mercury, but has only 45% as much mass. Its diameter is 2% larger than that of Saturn's Titan, the Solar System's second-largest moon. At 2.02 times the mass of the Moon, it is the most massive planetary satellite. It is the 9th largest object in the Solar System, and the largest without a substantial atmosphere.
Ganymede is composed of approximately equal amounts of silicate rock and water ice. It is a fully differentiated body with an iron-rich, liquid core, and an internal ocean that may contain more water than all of Earth's oceans together. Its surface is composed of two main types of terrain. Dark regions, saturated with impact craters and dated to four billion years ago, cover about a third of the satellite. Lighter regions, crosscut by extensive grooves and ridges and only slightly less ancient, cover the remainder. The cause of the light terrain's disrupted geology is not fully known, but was likely the result of tectonic activity brought about by tidal heating.
Ganymede's magnetosphere was probably created through convection within its liquid iron core. The meager magnetosphere is buried within Jupiter's much larger magnetic field and would show only as a local perturbation of the field lines. The satellite has a thin oxygen atmosphere that includes O, O 2 , and possibly O 3 . Atomic hydrogen is a minor atmospheric constituent. Whether the satellite has an ionosphere associated with its atmosphere is unresolved.
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