— Rebekah Neuman, Madison, Wis..
A Jim Lattis, director of UW Space Place at University of Wisconsin-Madison:
Anything that orbits a planet is really a moon, and moons can form in a number of ways.
By way of instance, Jupiter has four large moons called the Galilean moons. Those moons look like a tiny solar system together with Jupiter acting the part of sunlight. In the innermost to the outermost, the Galilean moons show a variation in size and makeup in a way that is similar to the planets of the solar system.
Those moons seem like they shaped along with Jupiter, with the whole system created collectively.
Our own Earth’s moon, on the other hand, failed to form along with the Earth. The current concept, supported by proof, is that our moon caused an accident that occurred very early in the solar system.
The object that would become Earth collided with the other thing. This second object was destroyed in the collision, and the collision debris turned into our heavens.
On occasion a moon is made when a planet catches it and pulls it into its orbit. Mars’ two very small, asteroid-like moons are potentially asteroids that Mars captured from the local asteroid belt.
Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons, is particularly intriguing. It is a really complex world with a temperature that enables fluids, including methane and other hydrocarbons, to exist in frozen, liquid and vapor form.
This is similar to what’s happening on Earth with water. We’ve got ice, liquid water and water vapor all interacting in our weather and climate system.