Galileo Solar System Project galileo telescopic finds and starry messenger Solar System Galileo Project

Galileo Solar System Project galileo telescopic finds and starry messenger Solar System Galileo Project

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Interesting facts about space.

The truth is that Pluto's large moon Charon is a freak. Pluto and Charon do not behave like a "normal" planet-and-moon duo. In fact, the system is unique in our Solar System because the two small, icy worlds face each other and spin together around a fixed point. For this reason, many planetary scientists have suggested that Pluto and Charon actually form a binary system--rather than that of a moon and planet pair. The new research shows that the chaotic movements of Pluto's smaller moons are caused by this weird Pluto-Charon relationship.

and here is another

The Kuiper Belt is populated by mostly small, frigid objects, which are relics of our Solar System's formation 4.56 billion years ago. Most KBOs are primarily composed of frozen volatiles, such as water, methane, and ammonia. The Kuiper Belt is also the home of two other officially designated dwarf planets (in addition to Pluto): Haumea and Makemake. A few of our Solar System's moons, such as Saturn's Phoebe and Neptune's Triton, are also commonly thought to have been born in this distant and mysterious region.

and finally

Of course, in view of the recent findings, there are other reasons why Moon is so important for mankind. First of all, the findings from the Chandrayaan probe have shown unequivocally that water exists in the lunar poles. Hence, with the existence of water, colonizing the moon has not only become possible, it has become imperative. As you know, water contains both hydrogen as well as oxygen atoms. Hydrogen can be used as a propellant and as an energy source, while water can be used as an oxidizer as well as a major life support requirement. The oxygen is especially important, as it can be filtered to provide air and the water itself can be used from variety of ways from drinking to being used as a coolant in various subsystems. In addition, the proximity of the moon promises the transference of raw materials such as Helium 3 as well as iron that can be found beneath the lunar regolith. Hence, it is the time to go back to the Moon again for the sake of mankind.

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Gravity can pull binary systems apart when the sister objects travel too close to a massive body--such as the planet Neptune. The orbital motions of the two sister objects results in one member traveling slower than the other. This can disrupt the system and permanently alter the orbital companion. This mechanism is termed an exchange reaction, and it could have shot Triton into a number of different orbits around Neptune, Agnor continued.

"For decades scientists have thought Jupiter's moon Europa was a likely place for life, but now we have specific, exciting regions on the icy moon to focus our future studies, " Dr. Don Blankenship, senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics, commented in the November 16, 2011 National Geographic News.

The new study was published in the April 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature, and it may provide a solution to a long-standing mystery of lunar origins pertaining to why Earth and its lovely companion appear to sport virtually identical compositions.