Category Archives: Moons

Blog 8 – Evidence for a Europan Ocean

Europa, Jupiter’s 4th largest and 2nd closest Galilean moon, is thought to have a large saltwater ocean covered by a layer of ice. An article from Nasa details the evidence for the existence of this ocean. The first piece of evidence is the matching zig-zagging cracks on the surface that indicate that the surface was […] Continue reading

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The Double Ridges of Europa: An Opportunity For Life

While looking into climate change related developments on the surface of Greenland, associate professor of geophysics at Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences Dustin Schroeder noticed small double-ridge formations developing, similar to those observed on the surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The double ridges form when pressurized water from below pushes up […] Continue reading

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How the Moons Got Their Names

I think one of the most interesting things about the moons of our Solar System is their names. We have named planets after the Greek Roman gods, and most of their moons after characters from myths that relate to those…

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The Moons of the Jovian Planets

Some of the most well known moons in our Solar System, aside from our own, are Jupiter’s Moons. They are known as Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. However, there are over 170 known moons that orbit all of the Jovian…

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The Moons of Saturn

There are many moons of Saturn, but the two largest are Titan and Enceladus. Titan is an enormous moon, the second largest in the Solar System after Jupiter’s Ganymede. It is notable for its thick atmosphere, which is made up of mostly Nitrogen compounds. Its surface is characterized as geologically young, with evidence of lakes […] Continue reading

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The Moons of Jupiter

Jupiter has many moons, but the largest of them are the Galilean moon, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, and Io. This post will explore the defining features of these Jovian moons. The largest of Jupiter’s moons is Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System. In fact, Ganymede is larger than Mercury. This moon has a liquid […] Continue reading

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Enceladus: Alien Life in Our Own Solar System?

Enceladus is an icy moon of Saturn, and is fairly small (or medium-sized, for a moon) with a diameter of about 500 km. For reference, the Moon has a diameter of about 3,475 km. Despite its size, however, Enceladus has been rated as among the most probable sources of life in our own solar system […] Continue reading

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Possibility of Life on Europa

Picture from European Space Agency As of now scientists believe there are three requirements for a planet to develop and sustain life. Liquid water, the appropriate chemical elements, and an energy source. Europa has more than enough water, as it is believed that below the roughly 15 miles of solid ice, lies twice as much …

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Mini Saturn Orbiting Saturn?

Perhaps the moon in Figure 1 looks like a miniature version of Saturn. Maybe even an empanada. Saturn’s innermost moon Pan was first identified in 1990 in a photograph captured by the Voyager 2 spacecraft (which flew in 1981). Pan has an average diameter of 17.6 miles and orbits about 83,000 miles apart from Saturn. […] Continue reading

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Amateur Astronomer Discovers Jupiter’s 80th Moon

Amateur Astronomer Kai Ly used images from the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope taken in 2003 to identify a previously undiscovered Satellite orbiting Jupiter, the first planetary moon discovered by an amateur astronomer. The telescope used was the 3.6 meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope located on Mauna Kea. Ly used an image captured in February 2003 to identify a set […] Continue reading

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