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Ganymede, Moon and Myth--the Sexiest Man in the World

Updated on October 22, 2011

Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter

The four moons that Galileo saw when he pointed his telescope at Jupiter are now known as the "Galilean satellites". There are actually seven moons of Jupiter; Galileo could only see four of them. These moons have been visited by NASA space probes and are a fascinating subject for research. Ganymede is easily seen with a small telescope.

Ganymede is the largest of Jupiter's moons. It's about twice the size of our own moon and larger than the planet Mercury. It has many impact craters, grooves and cracks on its surface.

It completes an orbit around Jupiter once every seven days. It's the furthest from the planet, and the coldest. It is composed of silicate rock, and ice (water ice). A saltwater ocean exists 200 km (124 miles) below Ganymede's surface, sandwiched between layers of ice. The planet's diameter is about 5,268 km (3270 miles) around, at its equator. Compare that to the equator of the earth: 12,756 km (7,926 miles). So it is less than half the size of our Earth.


Do you want to live on Ganymede?

Ganymede has a very thin atmosphere, composed of several gasses, including oxygen and ozone. Dark regions, covered with impact craters and dated to about 4 billion years ago, cover about a third of the surface. Lighter regions, criss-crossed by grooves and ridges cover the remainder. It's a disrupted terrain, and buried beneath it, under layers and layers of ice, is a saltwater ocean.

One wouldn't want to live there--the radiation level is 8 rem/day at the surface. What does this mean?

REM is a Roentgen unit. A dose of 100 rem is subclinical and won't cause permanent harm. A dose of 1000 rem is inevitably fatal.

But radiation effects accumulate. It wouldn't take long to exceed the maximum dose of radiation for good health if one lived on Ganymede.

And how COLD is Ganymede? 110 degrees Kelvin. (MINUS 262 degrees Fahrenheit, or MINUS 163 degrees Centigrade). The Kelvin scale begins at absolute zero, where it's so cold there are no moving molecules, no moving atoms. It's absolute zero, a complete absence of any thermal energy.

Ganymede, the most attractive of all mortals

Reubens-The Rape of Ganymede

Ganymede, in myth, was the most attractive of all mortals. His homeland was originally Troy, and he was a prince.

Zeus (the Greek is Zeus, the Roman name is Jupiter) abducted Ganymede from Mount Ida in Phrygia. Ganymede was there, a youth and a prince of the blood, passing time as was typical of royal youth, away from the royal household, tending a flock of sheep by some reports; of gathering amongst friends and tutors, as he happily whiled away the chthonic, or rustic part of his royal education.

Zeus, (or Jupiter, to a Roman), fell in love with him instantly, and turned himself into an eagle to fly Ganymede to Mount Olympus.

In Olympus, Zeus (Jupiter) made Ganymede his beloved, granting him immortality and honoring him with the office of cupbearer of the Gods, supplanting Hebe.

"Ganymede" is the genesis of the intoxicating drink, mead, which originally came from Phrygia.

All the gods were filled with joy to see the beautiful youth, except for Hera, Zeus's female consort or wife, who was insanely jealous.

"Here the Phrygian hunter is borne aloft on tawny wings, Gargara's range sinks downwards as he rises, and Troy grows dim beneath him; sadly stand his comrades; vainly the hounds weary their throats with barking, pursue his shadow and bay at the clouds."

--From the Abduction of Ganymede by Zeus, undated cup worked with Ganymede's mythos.


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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      He's a male model in sort of a gay men's magazine.

    • profile image

      BABY 5 years ago

      Hai, who is the man in the photo?

      below "Ganymede, the most attractive of all mortals"


    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, topquark. It's one of my favorite myths, as well as being a major moon of Jupiter.

    • topquark profile image

      topquark 6 years ago from UK

      You make beautiful and unique hubs. I was expecting a straightfoward hub about the moon ganymede and got a shock when I scrolled down to see that attractive young man! Interesting to know the story that the name comes from.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, yeah, Lyddi, those Greek gods could do anything they wanted to. They were outside society's rules, completely. So when some attractive human came along, he/she was fair game! (You're not offensive in the least.)

    • profile image

      Lyddi 7 years ago

      Thanks so much for the information! It really helped.

      Trying not to be offesnive, but I didn't know Greek Gods were bi. (I don't have anything against it, I'm just curious)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, Duchess, for the lovely comment!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      Between your space hubs and your life story hubs Paradise7 you must be kept very busy. This was actually quite interesting. Loved how you linked the mythical here. (this pictures were pure pleasure).

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much for reading, Wavechild!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Magic!

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 7 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Great hub! Love it

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      It's really amazing the interesting topics you can read about on Hubpages and I lucked onto this one by pure chance :-)

      Great Hub I enjoyed every word thankyou !!

    • wavechild profile image

      wavechild 7 years ago from somewhere in the Pacific

      Great hub! It's fascinating how planets/moons and myths intersect. Also more inspiration to get a telescope...

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Ben, for your comment. I got most of the info from the Web...with some verified sources, so I think it's right. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Loved it Paradise7, I am a kindred spirit who enjoys the mix of myth and science related to the heavens, you really created a fine weave here. Not to be a curmudgeon, but doesn't Jupiter have more than seven moons? Maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, I didn't know Ganymede was the largest, or the myth of the best looking mortal, love it.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Mike for that most interesting comment. I'm so glad you had the chance to look through your brother's telescope at the planets and the stars. Everyone should have that opportunity.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Before he passed away, my brother owned several high-priced telescopes and loved looking at the stars. I remember freezing to death on a cold, clear wintry night, looking at Jupiter and Saturn through his telescope. There is such a feeling of awe when looking at another planet, or the planet's moons. It makes you feel a part of something greater. It is also a humbling experience because it makes you feel very tiny, relative to the rest of the universe.

      You brought back some nice memories of times I spent with my brother--even if I was freezing to death. Thank you.


    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you both for the comments, Cris A and apricot. It's always nice to be appreciated!

    • apricot profile image

      apricot 7 years ago from Italy

      Fascinating! Jupitor has always scared me a bit - it's just so huge and imposing! I was interested to hear about the seven moons and Ganymede - Kelvin?! You are a font of information and have to thank you for it - I love learning new things! Lovely Hub!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Wow! What a fascinating read - I enjoyed both the moon and the myth. I devour Greek mythology but apparently I missed out on the story of Ganymede - but it confirms my theory that Zeus uh swung both ways! Haha

      Great job on this one! :D

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Myownworld, and RedElf, for your great comments!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      I think I'd find Ganymede a tad cool, and not my idea of a fun vacation. His other incarnation might make a fine cabana boy, however ;) Thanks for such an interesting hub!

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      I find all these hubs of yours fascinating always.....those pics do fill you with such a feeling of awe really. Anyway, great read....and yes, I have to agree with everyone, that guy was one greek god!! Thanks for sharing.... :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Dohn. It would be, to travel all around the solar system. If we were prepared with the right equipment to protect us!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Geez...I'm straight and I actually thought that guy's hot! I really need to get out of HubPages and hit the gym! Awesome hub, Paradise7. I actually liked the first pic more. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to travel around the solar system? Not in this lifetime!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Sheila B, and Cheaptrick for your comments. Ha! Cheap, don't worry, you look pretty buff to me!

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      How Did you get that Pic Of ME!...[I WISH]lol.

      Pretty cool stuff P!



    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I didn't know any of what you wrote about, so you have educated me. I like that.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Scarytaff, Veronica and Green Lotus for your comments. I liked that pic of the guy, couldn't resist adding it to the hub!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wow I don't know what I enjoyed more, the beautiful moon or the beautiful guy in the photo!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      A great read Paradise7! The planets have always fascinated me. I love the little facts you provided for us as well.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Ah! How jealous some ladies, (and men) can be. I was very keen on studying the planets in the sixties, and you've brought it all back to me No 7. You wouldn't need ice in your cocktail up there, then. Thanks for this hub. Brilliant work.