What is a Moon?

We have written about specific moons like Titan, Europa, and our own Moon! Please check those posts out! We have also done an episode about moons!

A moon is a natural satellite that orbits around a larger object like a planet. A natural satellite is different from a human made satellite because natural satellites are produced naturally. They can be made when an asteroid gets caught into a planet’s orbit or when a piece of a planet gets hit off. There are more than 200 moons in our Solar System! Moons can have an impact on the planet it is orbiting or circling around. For one, if the planet is a gas planet, like Jupiter, the moon can pull on the gas and cause it to make wavy shapes. If the planet is covered in water, like Earth, the Moon’s gravity can cause tides or the movement of the ocean along beaches and shorelines. Moons can also effect the time it takes for a planet to spin. Since moons are pulling on their planets, they can actually slow down how fast a planet spins, just by milliseconds. Moons are the most promising places to look for ancient or living microbial life because moons can have more elements suitable to life on them. This is just a theory, or scientific guess, though.