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YGK: Planetary Moons

YGK Planetary Moons

QuestionAnswer
Largest moon relative to the size of its orbiting planet. The relative sizes of the two bodies has led some to call it & Pluto a double planet system. It's surface is believed to be water ice. Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
Named for two sons of Ares and Aphrodite. They are the two moons of Mars and both were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall. Both are heavily cratered, rich in carbon and may have water ice. Deimos and Phobos (Mars)
) One of the Galilean moons, discovered in 1610 by Galileo. It resembles Io, and to a degree, Earth, in its composition of silicate rocks. There is the possibility of an active sea of liquid water beneath the surface Europa (Jupiter)
The largest satellite in the solar system, this Galilean moon is larger than Mercury, but has only half its mass. It is thought to have a three-layer structure of a molten iron core, silicate mantle, and ice exterior. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Named for a lover of Zeus it is primarily formed of silicate rock. Its surface is dotted with active volcanoes, calderas, & other signs of geological activity. The eruptions are believed to consist of sulfurous compounds that comprise its thin atmosphere Io (Jupiter) (EYE-O)
Discovered by Gerard Kuiper it has the most eccentric orbit of any known satellite, ranging from 1.3 million kilometers to 9.6 million. The oddity of this orbit indicates it is likely a captured asteroid. Nereid (Neptune)
Named for the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is the second largest of Uranus' satellites, and the outermost of its large satellites. Like all large Uranian moons, its structure is about half water ice, half rock. Oberon (Uranus)
It is the only satellite to have a substantial atmosphere. Its significant atmosphere, a mix of nitrogen (80%), methane (20%), and argon (trace), also makes it unique among satellites. It is Saturn's largest satellite. Titan (Saturn)
Named for Oberon's wife, the Queen of the Fairies, and is the largest of the Uranian satellites. Its surface is an odd mix of craters and valleys. One theory regarding this is that it began as a liquid, then cooled surface first. Titania (Uranus)
The largest of Neptune's satellites, it is unusual for its retrograde orbit. It features seismic activity (ice volcanoes), a nitrogen-methane atmosphere, & an ice cap of nitrogen & methane Triton (Neptune)
Also called Luna, is the 5th largest satellite in the solar system, the largest relative to the size of the planet it orbits, and the second densest. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty guarantees the rights of all nations to explore it for peaceful purposes. Earth's Moon
Saturn’s third-largest moon. It has a distinctive two-tone coloration; part of it is red-brown, while part is bright gray Iapetus [“eye”-AA-pih-tuss] (Saturn)
Named for the mythical boatman of the Greek underworld Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
not only is in synchronous orbit with Pluto, but the two show the same face toward each other at all times. Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
Named in honor of Charlene Christy, wife of Jim Christy, its discoverer Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
Named for two sons of Ares and Aphrodite Deimos and Phobos (Mars)
Moons that in Greek mean "fear" and "panic" Deimos and Phobos (Mars)
the two moons of Mars discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall Deimos and Phobos (Mars)
This moon of Mars orbits closer to the planet and has as its most prominent feature the crater Stickney. Unlike the Earth's moon, it rises in the west and sets in the east, about twice per Martian day. Phobos (Mars)
This is due to it being below the radius for synchronous orbit. This position also means it will either impact Mars or break into a ring in around 50 million years Phobos (Mars)
Smallest moon in the solar system. It was discovered two days before Phobos. It was likely an asteroid brought into Mars' orbit after being disturbed by Jupiter. Like Phobos, it is heavily cratered, rich in carbon, and believed to have water ice. Deimos (Mars)
One of the Galilean moons, discovered in 1610 by Galileo (the others are Callisto, Ganymede, and Io) Europa (Jupiter)
It resembles Io, and to a degree, Earth, in its composition of silicate rocks. However, it is coated in a thin layer of ice, which causes it to be exceedingly smooth. Europa (Jupiter)
This ice layer may also provide a thin atmosphere as hydrogen and oxygen are released when the planet is exposed to sunlight. There is the possibility of an active sea of liquid water beneath the surface. Europa (Jupiter)
The most striking feature of the surface of this Galilean moon is a series of dark streaks that may be due to geysers or volcanic eruptions. Europa (Jupiter)
The largest satellite in the solar system, this Galilean moon is larger than Mercury, but has only half its mass. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Based on the observations of the Galileo spacecraft, it is thought to have a three-layer structure of a molten iron core, silicate mantle, and ice exterior. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Its surface is marked by older, dark, highly cratered regions, mixed with lighter, grooved regions. These grooves indicate tectonic activity, but this Galilean moon does not appear to have undergone recent tectonic shifts. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Name the four Galilean moons Ganymede, Europa, Io, Callisto (Jupiter)
Like Europa, this Galilean moon is primarily formed of silicate rock. Its surface, however, is unlike any other satellite. Rather than craters, Io is dotted with active volcanoes, calderas, and other signs of geological activity. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-O)
Galilean moon named for a lover of Zeus Io (Jupiter) (EYE-O)
The eruptions are believed to consist of sulfurous compounds that comprise this Galilean moon's thin atmosphere. The tremendous activity is due to tidal warming from the gravity of Jupiter and other satellites. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-O)
Additionally, as it orbits it is heated electrically from currents produced by Jupiter's magnetic field. This action strips material from this moon, producing a radiation field and increasing Jupiter's magnetosphere. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-O)
Discovered by Gerard Kuiper (who also discovered Miranda, Titan's atmosphere, and an asteroid belt) Nereid (Neptune)
Named for the daughters of Nereus and Doris Nereid (Neptune)
has the most eccentric orbit of any known satellite, ranging from 1.3 million kilometers to 9.6 million. The oddity of this orbit indicates it is likely a captured asteroid. Nereid (Neptune)
Named for the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream (all of Uranus' satellites are named for literary, rather than mythological, characters) Oberon (Uranus)
both the second largest of Uranus' satellites, and the outermost of its large satellites. Oberon (Uranus)
Like all large Uranian moons, its structure is about half water ice, half rock. Large faults are visible across its southern hemisphere, but its surface is heavily cratered, indicating long-term tectonic stability. Oberon (Uranus)
Some craters have dark floors that could possibly indicate post-impact upwellings of water. Oberon (Uranus)
Largest of Saturn's satellites, might be the largest satellite in the solar system, but this awaits more accurate measurements. Those measurements are difficult because of a major characteristic: It is the only satellite to have a substantial atmosphere. Titan (Saturn)
Its significant atmosphere, a mix of nitrogen (80%), methane (20%), and argon (trace), also makes it unique among satellites. Titan (Saturn)
Another of Herschel's discoveries, this Uranian moon is named for Oberon's wife, the Queen of the Fairies, and is the largest of the Uranian satellites. Titania (Uranus)
Its surface is an odd mix of craters and valleys. One theory regarding this is that it began as a liquid, then cooled surface first. Titania (Uranus)
Once ice had formed, the interior, freezing forced surface cracks which formed the valleys. This also accounts for the appearance of some craters, where ice appears to have melted and filled in. Titania (Uranus)
By far the largest of Neptune's satellites, it is also unusual for its retrograde orbit, which indicates that it was not part of the natural formation of Neptune's other moons. Triton (Neptune)
It also features seismic activity in the form of ice volcanoes, a tenuous nitrogen-methane atmosphere, and a southern hemisphere "ice cap" of nitrogen and methane. Triton (Neptune)
All of these may be caused by this Neptune moon's odd rotational axis, which tends to alternate polar and equatorial regions facing the sun. Triton (Neptune)
The USSR’s Luna unmanned spacecraft first reached this satellite in 1959, and Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to orbit it, in 1968. Earth's Moon
First unmanned spacecraft to reach the Moon Luna (USSR in 1959)
First manned mission to ORBIT the Moon (Not land) Apollo 8 (1968)
Name for NASA's program to send men to the moon Apollo Program
President who envisioned the US would reach the moon by the ends of 1960s. He said this in 1961 and the US landed on the moon in 1969 John F. Kennedy
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty guarantees the rights of all nations to explore this satellite for peaceful purposes. Earth's Moon
The flat dark lunar plains are called _____________ and are mainly concentrated on the near side of the moon. maria (singular: mare)
The most famous one maria is Mare Tranquillitatis, or____________________________________________, where Apollo 11 first landed on the moon in 1969. The Apollo program landed on the moon five more times. the Sea of Tranquility
Name of the Apollo Mission that landed on the moon for the firs time Apollo 11 (July 20th, 1969)
Three men on board Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Michael Collins (Collins did not walk on the moon)
Number of times the Apollo program landed men on the moon 5 times (Apollo 11-12; 14-16)
Apollo program lead by James Lovell that was unable to land on the moon due to a malfunction was caused by an explosion and rupture of oxygen tank no. 2 in the service module. Apollo 13
Both Phobos (“fear”) and Mars’ smaller moon Deimos (“dread”) were discovered by ____________________________________ in 1877. Asaph Hall III
In 1971 the US’s _________________________ became the first spacecraft to provide close-up photos of Phobos. Mariner IX (Mariner 9)
At just 3700 miles above the Martian surface, ____________ orbits more closely to its planet than any other moon in the Solar System. Phobos (Mars)
Because it orbits Mars faster than Mars rotates, each day it appears (from the Martian surface) to set twice in the east each day. Phobos (Mars)
Geological features on ________________, including the Stickney Crater, are primarily named for either astronomers (Stickney was the maiden name of Asaph Hall’s wife) or characters from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Phobos (Mars)
One seventh the mass of Phobos and further away from the Martian surface, _________________ was found by Asaph Hall at the US Naval Observatory six days before he discovered Phobos. Deimos (Mars)
Its largest and only named craters are Swift and Voltaire; it's surface doesn’t appear as rough as Phobos’s because regolith has filled in some of the craters. Deimos (Mars)
A still-controversial and unproven hypothesis holds that Deimos (and possibly Phobos as well) were ____________________ perturbed out of their orbit by Jupiter and then captured by the gravity of Mars. asteroids
the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter (the moons discovered by Galileo), the fourth-largest moon in the solar system, the densest moon, and the most geologically active body in the solar system due to its more than 400 volcanoes. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-o)
Its' features are named for characters from a story in Greek mythology; fire, volcano, and thunder deities from other mythologies; and characters from Dante’s Inferno. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-o)
This Galilean Moon plays a significant role in shaping Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Pioneer 10 first passed by it in December 1973. Io (Jupiter) (EYE-o)
the largest moon in the solar system and the only one known to have its own magnetosphere. 3rd of the Galilean satellites, it was also first photographed close-up by Pioneer 10 in 1973. Galileo made six flybys of it between 1996 and 2000. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Name of satellite that passed by and photographed the Galilean moons Pioneer 10
Based on a suggestion from Simon Marius, ____________________ (along with many of the Jovian satellites) is named for one of Jupiter’s lovers in Roman mythology; it is the only such moon named for a male figure. Ganymede (Jupiter)
Many of Ganymede’s features, including the ________________________, are given names from Egyptian and Babylonian mythology, although its largest dark plain is Galileo Regio. Enki Catena
Ganymede is scheduled to be orbited by the ____________________________________________, currently slated for a 2022 launch. European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE)
Many of Ganymede’s features, including the Enki Catena, are given names from Egyptian and Babylonian mythology, although its largest dark plain is ___________________ Galileo Regio.
Largest moon of Saturn and the second largest in the solar system. Until Voyager 1 visited in 1980, it was thought to be larger than Ganymede. Titan (Saturn)
It is the only known satellite with a dense atmosphere—so dense that it makes observation of surface features nearly impossible except from close up—and also the only known satellite for which there is evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid. Titan (Saturn)
Discovered in 1655 by Christiaan Huygens, it was visited by the Cassini-Huygens mission in 2004. Titan (Saturn)
Discovered Titan, largest moon of Saturn Christiaan Huygens (1655)
It's albedo features, such as the highly reflective area Xanadu, are named for sacred or enchanted places from world literature and mythology. Titan (Saturn)
Because of its nitrogen-rich atmosphere and the presence of surface liquid, it is often thought to be the most likely place in the solar system for microbial life to exist outside of Earth. Titan (Saturn)
Saturn’s third-largest moon after Titan and Rhea and, like them, was discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1671 Iapetus [“eye”-AA-pih-tuss] (Saturn)
It was named based upon a suggestion from John Herschel (son of the discoverer of Uranus, William Herschel) for the Titans of Greek mythology, the brothers and sisters of Cronos (Saturn) Iapetus [“eye”-AA-pih-tuss] (Saturn)
Distinctive two-tone coloration; part of it is red-brown, while part is bright gray. Features on it are named for people and places from the French Song of Roland, including Charlemagne Crater and the bright northern region Roncevaux Terra. Iapetus [“eye”-AA-pih-tuss] (Saturn)
In 2004 the Cassini orbiter found an equatorial ridge running over 800 miles long and 10 miles wide that gives this Saturn moon some of the highest peaks in the solar system; its existence has not yet been explained. Iapetus [“eye”-AA-pih-tuss] (Saturn)
Discoverer of Uranus and its' two largest moons, Oberon and Titania (named after characters in A Midsummer's Night Dream) William Herschel
In 1986 ______________________ became the only spacecraft to date to visit the Uranian moons. Voyager 2
However, Oberon’s largest feature is ___________________________________, which is named from a French epic poem. Mommur Chasma
Most of this Uranian moon's features are named for settings or female characters from Shakespeare—its largest crater is Gertrude Crater, after Hamlet’s mother Titania (Uranus)
Most of this Uranian moon's are named after settings or male characters from Shakespeare Oberon (Uranus)
Because this planet orbits the sun almost on its side and Titania and Oberon orbit it in the same plane as its equator, Uranus
_____________________'s poles spend over 42 years in nonstop sunlight followed by 42 years of darkness. Titania (Uranus)
These two moons have extreme seasons due to its' orbit with its' planet Oberon and Titania (Uranus)
The largest moon of Neptune and the only large moon with a retrograde orbit (that is, an orbit opposite to the rotation of its planet) Triton (Neptune)
7th-largest moon in the solar system and is thought to have been captured from the Kuiper Belt. For over 100 years after its 1846 discovery, it was thought to be Neptune’s only moon Triton (Neptune)
This Neptunian moon wasn’t discovered until 1949; the second moon after Triton to be discovered (there are 13 known satellites now) Nereid (Neptune)
Geologically active and has geysers that are assumed to erupt nitrogen. Because of the activity, impact craters on this Neptunian moon are relatively scarce; most of the larger craters were formed by volcanic activity Triton (Neptune)
It orbits around Neptune in almost a perfect circle. Triton (Neptune)
Much of this Neptunian moon's western hemisphere consists of an unexplained series of fissures and depressions sometimes called “cantaloupe terrain.” Triton (Neptune)
This Neptunian moon's features are named after various water spirits, monsters, or sacred waters from mythology. Triton (Neptune)
______________________ visited Triton in 1989 and is the only space probe to have done so (and none are currently planned). Voyager 2
Largest satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, ________________ wasn’t discovered until 1978. (As of 2013, Pluto has five known moons, the last two discovered in 2011 and 2012.) Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
Unlike Pluto, which is covered with nitrogen and methane ices, _____________ appears to be covered in water ice and may also have active cryo-geysers. Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
Because the center of mass of the Pluto-______________ system lies outside of either one, it doesn’t truly orbit Pluto Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR
The _________________________________ mission visited Charon and Pluto in 2015. New Horizons
The IAU still considers _________________, which is roughly half the size but has only 11% the mass of Pluto, to be a satellite. Charon (Pluto) Pronounced "SHAHR-en"
when Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, an argument was made (but not accepted) to classify Pluto-Charon as a _________________________ binary system.
Created by: Mr_Morman