Moons of the Solar System

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Moons of the Solar System vary in size and features. There are several moons in the Solar System which are larger than both the planets Mercury and Pluto and some moons feature volcanoes, atmospheres and even oceans.

Moons of the Solar System Picture


Moons

Inner Planets

Mercury and Venus have no moons.

Earth has a moon known as the Moon.

Mars has two moons: Phobos and Deimos.


Gas Giants

The large gas giants have extensive systems of moons, including half a dozen comparable in size to Earth’s moon: the four Galilean moons, Saturn’s Titan and Neptune’s Triton.

Saturn has an additional six mid-sized moons and Uranus has five.

Galilean Moons

The Galilean Moons are the four largest moons of Planet Jupiter: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa. They were discovered by Galileo Galilei around January 1610. They were the first group of objects found to orbit another planet.

Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, is larger than Planet Mercury while the other three are larger than Dwarf Planet Pluto.

Titan Moon

It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System, after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede and is larger than Planet Mercury, the smallest planet.

Triton Moon

Triton is the largest moon of planet Neptune. It was discovered on 10 October, 1846 by English astronomer William Lassell. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit (an orbit in the opposite direction to its planet’s rotation).


Dwarf Planets

Among the dwarf planets, Ceres has no moons. Pluto has the relatively large moon Charon and three smaller moons. Haumea has two moons and Eris has one.


Facts:

The closest moon to our Sun is the Earth’s Moon.

The largest moon in our Solar System is Ganymede. The second largest moon is Planet Saturn’s Titan. Third largest moon is Callisto.


Did you know?

* 173 moons are orbiting six of the eight planets and seven orbiting three of the five dwarf planets.


Moons of the Solar System Links:

Moons of the Solar System: A selection of our solar system’s natural satellites are shown here to scale compared to the Earth and its moon. Image Credit: NASA

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