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How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

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How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Cloud on Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:17 am

A lot of moons or no moons at all?

We on Earth have just one moon, but some planets have dozens of them. Others don’t have any. Which planets have moons, and which don’t?

Let’s go in order from the Sun.

Mercury and Venus

Up first are Mercury and Venus. Neither of them has a moon.

Because Mercury is so close to the Sun and its gravity, it wouldn’t be able to hold on to its own moon. Any moon would most likely crash into Mercury or maybe go into orbit around the Sun and eventually get pulled into it.

Why Venus doesn’t have a moon is a mystery for scientists to solve.


Earth (That's us!)

Up next is Earth, and of course we have one moon.



Mars

Mars has two moons. Their names are Phobos and Deimos. Don’t you wish our moon had a cool name like that?



Jupiter

Next are the giant outer planets. They have lots of moons. Jupiter, for instance, has 79 known moons!

The most well-known of Jupiter's moons are Io (pronounced eye-oh), Europa, and Callisto. Jupiter also has the biggest moon in our solar system, Ganymede.

These moons are so big you can see them with just a pair of binoculars.


Saturn

Saturn has 53 moons that have been named. Saturn also has nine moons awaiting confirmation. They’re unconfirmed because we’re waiting to get more information about them. If all of these moons get confirmed, Saturn will have 62 moons. And that’s not counting Saturn’s beautiful rings.

Saturn’s moons have great names like Mimas, Enceladus, and Tethys. One of these moons, named Titan, even has its own atmosphere, which is very unusual for a moon.



Uranus and Neptune

Uranus has 27 moons that we know of. Some of them are half made of ice.

Lastly, Neptune has 13 named moons and one moon awaiting confirmation. One of Neptune's moons, Triton, is as big as dwarf planet Pluto.


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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:31 pm

As of October 2008, there are 181 known natural moons orbiting planets in our Solar System. 173 moons orbit the "full-size" planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), while 8 moons orbit the smaller "dwarf planets" (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris).

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:36 pm


Titan's hydrocarbon lakes are visible through the haze in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Weird Weather: Titan
Saturn's hazy moon Titan is larger than Mercury, but its size is not the only way it's like a planet. Titan has a thick atmosphere, complete with its own "water cycle" — except that it's way too cold on Titan for liquid water. Instead, rains of liquid hydrocarbons like ethane and methane fall onto icy mountains, run into rivers, and gather into great seas. NASA's Cassini spacecraft mapped the methane seas with radar, and its cameras even caught a glimpse of sunlight reflecting off the seas' surface
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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:38 pm


Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, as seen by NASA's Galileo spacecraft

Icy Giant: Ganymede​:
Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest in the solar system. It's bigger than Mercury and Pluto, and three-quarters the size of Mars. It's also the only moon known to have its own magnetic field.

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:41 pm


Neptune's moon Triton.

Retrograde Rebel: Triton
Triton is Neptune's largest moon, and the only one in the solar system to orbit in the opposite direction of its planet's rotation, a retrograde orbit. It may have been captured from the Kuiper Belt, where Pluto orbits. Despite the frigid temperatures there, Triton has cryovolcanic activity -- frozen nitrogen sometimes sublimates directly to gas and erupts from geysers on the surface

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:43 pm


Saturn's moon Enceladus hides an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell.

Cold Faithful: Enceladus
The most famous geysers in our solar system outside of Earth belong to Saturn's active moon Enceladus. It's a small, icy body, but Cassini revealed this world to be one of the solar system's most scientifically interesting destinations. Geyser-like jets spew water vapor and ice particles from an underground ocean beneath the icy crust of Enceladus. With its global ocean, unique chemistry and internal heat, Enceladus has become a promising lead in our search for worlds where life could exist.

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:45 pm


Jupiter's volcanic moon Io.

Volcano World: Io
Jupiter's moon Io is subjected to tremendous gravitational forces that cause its surface to bulge up and down by as much as 330 feet (100 m). The result? Io is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting lava fountains dozens of miles high.

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:50 pm



Dark material splatters the walls and floors of craters in the surreal, frozen wastelands of Iapetus. This image shows terrain in the transition region between the moon's dark leading hemisphere and its bright trailing hemisphere. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

Yin and Yang Moon: Iapetus
When astronomer Giovanni Cassini discovered Iapetus in 1671, he observed that one side of this moon of Saturn was bright and the other dark. He noted that he could only see Iapetus on the west side of Saturn, and correctly concluded that Iapetus had one side much darker than the other side. Why? Three centuries later, the Cassini spacecraft solved the puzzle. Dark, reddish dust in Iapetus's orbital path is swept up and lands on the leading face of the moon. The dark areas absorb energy and become warmer, while uncontaminated areas remain cooler.

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Re: How many moons? Here's how many moons each planet has.

Post by Dragon on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:51 pm



Discovery of active, icy plumes on the Saturnian moon Enceladus

The discovery of Enceladus's massive plume was such a surprise that mission designers completely reshaped the mission to get a better look. The discovery became even more important when Cassini found evidence of water-based ice in the plume. Life as we know it relies on water, so the search for life suddenly extended to this small, bright moon. The recent discovery of signs of an subsurface ocean makes Enceladus one of the most exciting science destinations in our solar system.

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