Galileo Solar System Project jupiter moons callisto discovered by galileo galilei in Solar System Project Galileo

Galileo Solar System Project jupiter moons callisto discovered by galileo galilei in Solar System Project Galileo

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Interesting facts about space.

Our third theory to discuss is the "Co-Formation Theory" which alleges that the Moon and Earth were formed within the nebular disk around the Earth (similar to how our solar system formed around the Sun). This theory falls short when one revisits the composition of the Earth and Moon. If the Moon did indeed share some of the same building material as the Earth did and form in the same area, it should be very similar in composition to the Earth. We've seen, however, that the Moon doesn't share a significant iron core like our home planet does. There is one theory which remains to be discussed, and it is the one that is widely accepted today. The Giant Impactor Theory: The Giant Impactor Theory claims that the Moon was formed when an object the size of Mars slammed into the Earth shortly after the solar system's formation. After this object hit the Earth, tons of material from both the object and the Earth were sent into space and began to orbit around the Earth. This material slowly began to come together and collide until what we see as our Moon was created. This theory most easily explains the criteria we previously mentioned. The heat that would have been generated after the collision explains the evidence of "baking" on the Moon's surface. It also supports the fact that the Moon doesn't have a large iron core like the Earth. Finally, we have seen evidence of other such collisions in other parts of the solar system.

and here is another

Soon after it had been snared by Neptune, Triton's orbit was highly eccentric. This indicates that Triton's capture would have caused a mess of chaotic perturbations in the orbits of the original inner moons of Neptune--thus causing them to crash into one another, producing a disk of rubble created from these catastrophic smash-ups. For this reason, it is probable that Neptune's current inner moons are not the original generation of moons that formed along with Neptune.

and finally

The HST images also showed that the moon Kerberos is charcoal black in color, which is in stark contrast to the brilliant white of the other moons of Pluto. It was predicted that dust blasted off the moons by meteorite impacts would blanket the moons, giving them a homogeneous appearance. However, the reason why Kerberos is black remains a mystery.

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Because the lunar atmosphere is very thin, it is far too sparse to prevent a steady shower of impacts from tumbling asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. These objects strike the lunar surface, leaving behind numerous crater scars. For example, Tycho Crater is over 52 miles wide.

Astronomers have for years contemplated two competing hypotheses explaining the origin of the Martian moons. The first proposes that Phobos and Deimos are, indeed, escapees from the Main Asteroid Belt. Alas, this viewpoint begs the question of why they should have been so cruelly captured by their adopted parent-planet in the first place. An alternative theory points to the possibility that the moons were born from the debris left by a violent collision between Mars and a primordial protoplanet--a baby planet still under construction. However, this theory also suffers from uncertainty because it does not explain precisely how this particular tragic mechanism gave rise to Phobos and Deimos.

New Moon and Full Moon Times. New Moon, June 12, 2010 4:15 am, PDT. Full Moon, June 26, 2010 4:31 am, PDT