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Planetary Satellites


Key Terms:

Notes: (27-3)

Anything that regularly revolves around another object can be called a satellite.  The moon, therefore, is Earth's naturally occurring satellite.  Every planet except Mercury and Venus has at least one moon.

Mars' Moons

2 very small moons
larger moon 
revolves more than three times a day





(www.virtualcrate.com/StarryNight/ mars_moons.jpg)

Jupiter's Moons

Has at least 28 moons (52 now discovered)
4 largest are called the Galilean moons

(observe.arc.nasa.gov/.../ jupiters_moons_300.jpg)
geologically active - volcanoes
shows no significant signs of impact craters
density close to Earth's moon
has a sulfur-dioxide atmosphere
has a solid iron core and a liquid outer core


has an atmosphere
is covered with frozen water - appears white
has few craters - indicates geological activity
may have a large liquid ocean below the ice


only moon with a magnetic field
may have a salt water ocean below its surface
largest moon in our solar system


farthest and most cratered moon
least dense
has oxygen present
may have a salt water ocean below its surface


Saturn's Moons

at least 24 moons

(esapub.esrin.esa.it/bulletin/bullet92/ images/b92kohf12.gif)

Titan - largest moon (second largest in the solar system)
consists of 1/2 rock and 1/2 frozen water
has a significant atmosphere (mostly nitrogen)

(zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/ ImSaturn/titan1.gif)



21 known moons
all deeply cratered and grooved
all lack atmospheres

(wmatem.eis.uva.es/~marsan/discover/ plan-sat/uranus-moons.gi)

& Neptune



(members.aol.com/_ht_a/bobalien99/ trinep3.gif)




Triton - largest
4/5 the size of Earth
has ice caps and a thin atmosphere

(www.solstation.com/ stars/triton1.jpg)











Last modified: May 13, 2003