Jupiter was named by the Romans for one of their gods (the equivalent of the Greek god, Zeus). Jupiter's moons hold a special place in the history of astronomy, because they were the first objects to be discovered orbiting around a body other than our Sun or Earth. The moons were discovered independently by both the famed Italian scientist Galileo Galilei and the German astronomer Simon Marius in the early 1600s. All told, Jupiter has 67 moons, but Marius and Galilei only spotted the largest four. These four are known as the Galilean moons, though it was Marius who named them after some of Jupiter's more famous extra-marital lovers: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
In 2016, NASA delivered on a 400-year-old punchline by sending a probe to investigate Jupiter and its mistresses. This spacecraft was Juno—named after Jupiter’s wife.
NASA’s official statement reads, “The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature.”
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