There are many moons in the Solar System while we generally think of the Earth’s Moon only. There are moons in the solar system which orbit planets, dwarf planets, and other solar system objects. We will go through some most prominent moons in the solar system. How many moons does each planet have?
1. As of May 2018, There are close to 350 moons in the Solar System. There are total 175 moons which orbit 8 planets in the solar system and there are 9 moons which orbit 5 dwarf planets and rest of them orbit other solar system bodies like asteroids etc.
2. Venus and Mercury are the only planets which do not have any moon. Mercury does not have any moon because Mercury is very close to the sun so it wouldn’t be able to hold on to its own moon. Any moon with a large distance from Mercury would be in an unstable orbit and will eventually get pulled into the Sun. If the moon were too close to the planet they would be destroyed by tidal gravitational forces and most likely crash into Mercury.
3. Why Venus doesn’t have a moon is a mystery which is yet to be solved.
4. Earth has only one Moon. Read more interesting facts about Earth’s Moon here
5. Mars has two moons named Phobos and Deimos which are irregular in shapes. Both were discovered in 1877.
6. Jupiter has 69 moons out of which 53 moons have been officially named. Jupiter’s four main moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. These moons are named the Galilean moons after Galileo Galilei. Jupiter features some of the largest moons in the solar system.
7. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System and 9th largest object in the solar system. It is 8% larger than planet Mercury. Ganymede is the only moon which is known to have the magnetic field.
8. Io moon is the most geologically active object in the Solar System. It features over 400 active volcanoes. Io has the lowest amount of water among all known astronomical objects in the Solar System.
9. The surface of Europa moon is the smoothest surface of any known solid object in the Solar System. Some scientists believe that water may exist below the surface of Europa.
10. Callisto has an approx similar diameter to the planet Mercury but it has only one-third of Mercury’s mass. The surface of Callisto is most heavily cratered surface in the Solar System. Its surface is mostly covered with impact craters.
Here are 14 interesting facts about our Solar system.
11. Saturn has 62 moons out of which 53 moons have been officially named. Saturn’s largest moon is named Titan. it is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere. Other than Earth, Titan is the only object in space where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
12. Neptune’s largest moon is Triton which is similar in size to Earth’s moon. It was discovered in 1846. Triton is the seventh largest moon in the Solar System. It is the only large moon in the Solar System which has a retrograde orbit, an orbit which is in the opposite direction to its planet’s rotation.
13. The largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto is named Charon which was discovered in 1978 and has a diameter that is around half of Pluto’s diameter.
Did you know any other interesting fact about the moons of the solar system, let us know in the comment section.