Callisto's battered surface lies on top of a cold, stiff, and icy lithosphere that is between 80 and 150 km thick. NASA's Lunar Flashlight, a briefcase-sized satellite, or CubeSat, will detect surface ice believed to be at the bottom of craters on the Moon that have never been exposed to sunlight. This is different from other Galilean satellites, where the reverse is true.
It is known to develop when the temperature is sufficiently close to the melting point, due to the temperature dependence of ice viscosity. It takes Callisto just under 17 (16.7) days to complete one full rotation of Jupiter. Scientists think Callisto and Jupiter’s other satellites formed in the disk of materials left over from Jupiter’s formation. , Callisto is named after one of Zeus's many lovers in Greek mythology. The results of the research has led scientists to believe that Callisto may have a subsurface ocean as well as locating oxygen in its atmosphere.
 In February–March 2007, the New Horizons probe on its way to Pluto obtained new images and spectra of Callisto. Calisto and some of the other moons orbiting Jupiter has been the focus of a number of spacecraft that have done multiple flybys, including the Galileo mission in the 1990s and 2000s. Didymos B is getting an official name of its own: Dimorphos. Callisto is named for a woman turned into a bear by Zeus in Greek mythology. Callisto is a big moon!  Explanations that have been proposed for the contrasts in internal heating and consequent differentiation and geologic activity between Callisto and Ganymede include differences in formation conditions, the greater tidal heating experienced by Ganymede, and the more numerous and energetic impacts that would have been suffered by Ganymede during the Late Heavy Bombardment. Because such a thin atmosphere would be lost in only about 4 days (see atmospheric escape), it must be constantly replenished, possibly by slow sublimation of carbon dioxide ice from Callisto's icy crust, which would be compatible with the sublimation–degradation hypothesis for the formation of the surface knobs.
Instead, Callisto is a moon that orbits a planet. Those 5–40 km across usually have a central peak. Callisto is believed to be around the same 4.5 billion year age as Jupiter, which means that it was probably created when the planet was very young. Because of the distance beyond the main radiation belt of Jupiter, Callisto also has a reduced tidal influence than the other three moons.
Infrared images from NASA's Juno spacecraft are providing the first glimpse of Ganymede's icy north pole. NASA's next giant leap may be aided by tiny lunar robots that would help scout the lunar surface. Once thought to be a dead, inactive rocky body, data gathered by the Galileo spacecraft in the 1990s indicate Callisto may have a salty ocean beneath its icy surface. Kim Stanley Robinson, Blue Mars and Galileo’s Dream.  Therefore, the most favorable model of its formation is a slow accretion in the low-density Jovian subnebula—a disk of the gas and dust that existed around Jupiter after its formation. Due to the convection process, however, very slow and partial separation and differentiation of rocks and ices inside Callisto has been proceeding on timescales of billions of years and may be continuing to this day.
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