Moon Lore and Trivia

Moon Trivia

1)How Likely is it to Find an Earth like Planet, with an Moon like ours?

Answer: Not very Likely

While this is slightly debatable due to the Idea that the Universe is Infinite it is rather unlikely to find a Moon as large as ours around a planet similar to Earth. From our Understanding of how Planets form the Terrestrial planets (rocky planets like Earth) do not form with Moons like the Jovian planets (large gas planets). This is due to the fact that the Terrestrial planets are far less massive than the Jovian’s and also due to the small percentage of solid material out of which to form the Moons. However the biggest reason why it is Unlikely to find a Earth-like moon around a Terrestrial planet is due to the Unique origins of our Moon. As you hopefully read in my little narrative (or can easily read about elsewhere on the web) the Earth’s Moon was formed by a collision between our early Planet and a Mars like planet. This unusual Origin is why it is unlikely to find a similarly Large Moon around a planet similar to Earth.

2)Why do we Only see One Face of the Moon?

Answer: Tidal Locking

As you more than likely know the Moon’s gravity pulls the Waters of the Earth toward it causing Tides. Of course the Earths gravity also Pulls on the Moon only since the Earth has more gravity it actually causes the rock in the Moon to shift and bulge toward the Earth. Over millions of years this pull on the Moon has caused a sort of friction which caused the Moon’s rotation to slow such that only one Face points to the Earth at any given time.

3)Among the Outer Planets there is an Interesting Phenomenon which is Caused by Moons. What is it?

Answer: Rings

Ok, I admit this Question is a little ambiguous, but Rings works better than most answers. You see Planetary Rings are caused by Moon’s being torn apart by planetary gravity. The remains of the Moon are the debris we see as Rings.

4)Of the Moons explored so Far, Which is the most Geologically Active?

Answer: Io

One of Jupiter’s Moons, Io was expected to be a rather dead and uninteresting moon, however pictures from the Cassini mission provided pictures which show many active Volcanoes on Io’s surface. It is believed that the planet is heated through Orbital friction in a process known as Orbital resonance. Io’s orbit aligns with some of the Outer moons of Jupiter periodically and the additional gravity causes frictional heating of Io’s interior.

5)Which Moon has a Thicker Atmosphere than Earth?

Answer: Titan

One of Saturn’s moons, Titan has approximately 1.5 times the atmosphere of the Earth and is larger than the Planet Mercury.

6)Which Moon has a very High chance of Supporting life?

Answer: Europa

Another of Jupiter’s moons, Europa has liquid Water under its icy surface and this water makes it the best place to look for Life in our solar system.

7)If the Moon rises at Approximately Noon What Phase is it?

Answer: 1st Quarter

Due to its Angle with the Sun when the Moon rises at Noon and sets at midnight it is in its first Quarter phase.

8)During a total Lunar Eclipse the Moon turns a Reddish Color at Totality. Why?

Answer: Because Red light passes through the Earth’s Atmosphere

Similar to why the Sky is blue, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light but lets red light pass through easily. This is the same reason why Sunsets and Sunrises appear to have a reddish color.

9)To date, which Planet has the most Discovered Moons?

Answer: Jupiter

The current count is over 100, though many of the moons are rather small.

10)Galileo’s Discovery of Moons around Jupiter was one of the Reasons he Promoted a Heliocentric Universe. Can you name all 4 Moons he Discovered?

Answer: Io, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede

Also known as the Galilean Moons, these were the first moons discovered beyond the Earth’s Moon.

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