Himalia Transparent.png
An Irregular Moon

Planet of Origin



Charles Dillon Perrine

Date of Discovery

December 3, 1904

Place of Discovery

Lick Observatory, California

Surface Color

Dark/light grey


Porous ocean

Himalia is the largest of the irregular-shaped satellites belonging to the planet of Jupiter. Being a prograde satellite, it was discovered on December 3, 1904 by Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory. Due to its size and its brightness, Himalia is the easiest observed satellite of Jupiter. In fact, it is so large and massive, the only things larger are the Galilean moons. Although it is bright in apparent magnitude, Amalthea is brighter, yet further away and smaller, therefore being less easily observed by the human eye.

Formation[edit | edit source]

It was formed as an asteroid in the asteroid belt. But Jupiter’s gravity caught the moon.

Naming[edit | edit source]

Himalia was named after Himalia, the nymph that bore three sons from Zeus. In the 1950's and 1970's, people mistook the name Himalia for Hestia, a Greek goddess.

Composition[edit | edit source]

Like many other moons belonging to Jupiter, water is thought to be present inside of the layers of Himalia, sandwiched between two layers.

Surface[edit | edit source]

The surface of Himalia appears to be gray and has other spectra of color that match that of a C-type asteroid. There are no visible mountainous areas or valleys, common in Himalia grouped satellites. The only visible mountainous areas are under the surface in the lower crust. It is believed that these mountains will soon be pushed to the surface in the next million years.

Exploration[edit | edit source]

In 2000, Himalia was photographed by the Cassini spacecraft. Only though the images were a few pixels in length and height, the images can show the axes of the moon match that of Earth-based measurements. The image was taken from five million miles away.

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