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Curious facts about cosmic life and their inhabitants.
With such intriguing results before them, the team of astronomers studied the data to determine if Kepler-22b actually has a moon. Unfortunately, their analysis reveals no evidence for the existence of an exomoon circling Kepler-22b. This non-detection suggests that the mass of any companion world around Kepler-22b must be less than 0.54 times the mass of our planet--with an impressive confidence rate of 95%! Therefore, it is very unlikely that Kepler-22b is circled by an Earth-like moon. Nevertheless, it is still too soon to give up hope. The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler project has studied nine planetary systems in search of exomoons. Although none were detected, with the team's new results about the possibility of finding Earth-sized moons and the remaining treasure trove of Kepler data to sift through, large and possibly even habitable exomoons may start being spotted in the near future.
and here is another
These days the use of the term, "Once In a Blue Moon", is a very common phrase in our language. In the English language the first known literary reference to a blue moon was in a poem by Roy and Barlow, written in 1528, entitled "Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe". An excerpt, "If they say the moon is belewe, we must believe it to be true." which is a reference to the English nobility. Commonly in this day and age and over the years a blue moon is used as a symbol of melancholy, sadness or loneliness in songs and poetry. We are literally accustomed to the idea of the moon or Lunar, as being a symbol of Romance or Love. Therefore a blue moon reflecting the idea of sadness or feeling 'blue'. The moon seems to be intrinsically connected to our emotions and for many of us, as is the case with your's truly if you have any faith in Astrology, Cancerians are ruled by the moon and their moods can be affected by the various phases of the moon. It was a little ironic to learn after having dragged oneself around shroud in melancholy this week, that there was in fact, a Blue Moon on the horizon. Coincidence?
Dr. Alice Le Gall commented in the same JPL Press Release that "Before Cassini, we expected to find that Ligeia Mare would be mostly made up of ethane, which is produced in abundance in the atmosphere when sunlight breaks methane molecules apart. Instead, this sea is predominantly made of pure methane." Dr. Le Gall, a Cassini radar team associate, is of the French research laboratory LATMOS, in Paris, and lead author of the new study.
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However, the new findings also mean that scientists must come up with other explanations for why Earth's Moon is depleted of potassium, sodium, and other volatile elements. Additional explanations for this exist. One possible alternative explanation is that the volatile elements contained within the disk showered down onto the proto-Earth instead of escaping, or being part of lunar formation. Another explanation is that these volatile elements were part of our Moon when it first accreted from the post-collision disk but were later lost.
The current study's Franco-Belgian-Japanese collaboration looks forward to this mission. JAXA plans to enlist them to conduct tests on the Martian samples when they are returned to Earth. The samples will help the scientists determine whether Phobos is indeed made up of a mixture of Martian mantle and debris left in the wake of the tragic crash of the doomed, vanished protoplanet--as suggested by their supercomputer simulations.
There are more than 100 moons in orbit around the eight major planets of our Sun's family. Most of them are frozen worlds, primarily composed of ice with a smattering of rocky material, circling the four giant gaseous planets dwelling in the outer regions of our Solar System--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The inner region of our Solar System is almost completely devoid of moons. Earth's own lovely Moon is the largest one in our inner region of the Sun's family. Of the four rocky and relatively petite inner worlds that circle nearest to our Star--Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars--Mercury and Venus are moonless, while Mars is orbited by two lumpy and misshapen small moons, Phobos and Deimos, that are most likely captured asteroids that originated in the Main Asteroid Belt that orbits our Sun between Mars and Jupiter.