What Are the Colors of the Solar System planets classroom ideas pinterest solar planet Solar the Are Colors System of the What

What Are the Colors of the Solar System planets classroom ideas pinterest solar planet Solar the Are Colors System of the What

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In order to spot such a remote exomoon, the authors of this new study, The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK): III. The First Search for an Exomoon around a Habitable-Zone Planet, used a technique that models the dips and features of the parent star's light-curve (stellar brightness vs. time), which are caused by transits of the planet (and any accompanying moons) in front of the face of its star. This is a complicated and difficult endeavor because numerous and diverse models of planet-moon dynamics must be taken into consideration. Each one of these models possesses parameters that describe physical properties belonging to the planet or moon, as well as parameters describing the orbital system. The authors use what is termed Bayesian statistics to account for the fact that the true orbital model of this planetary system is still not known--and this enables them to calculate if a model with our without a moon fits the observed light-curve the best.

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Triton is the largest of Neptune's 13 moons. It is an unusual world, twirling around its planet in the wrong direction. Many astronomers think that some time in the remote past, Triton was nudged out of its home in the Kuiper Belt, and during its wanderings in the darkness of interplanetary space, at last swept close enough to Neptune to feel the irresistible lure of that planet's gravity. As Neptune drew Triton into its gravitational embrace, that luckless wanderer from the Kuiper Belt underwent a sea-change from a comet-like denizen of our Solar System's outer limits, to a moon of one of the major planets. So, there Triton whirls around in its new home, circling its planet Neptune, but circling it backwards. And like all moons, it is now a dependent of its parent planet. As a matter of fact, the moon was given the name of Triton as an allusion to the demigod Triton's dependence on the sea-god Neptune in Greek mythology.

and finally

Like Earth's own large Moon, Triton is locked in synchronous rotation with its planet--one side always faces Neptune. However, because of Neptune's odd orbital inclination, both of the moon's polar regions take turns facing the Sun. Spacecraft images of Triton reveal mounds and round pits formed from icy lava flows (cryovolanism), as well as smooth volcanic plains. The surface of the moon is only sparsely cratered, indicating that its surface is new--that is, it is constantly being resurfaced, probably by the "lava" flow from icy volcanoes. Triton is very bright--its fresh, sparkling, new ice-coating is believed to cover a heart of metal and rock. Triton's high density suggests that it contains more rock in its interior than the icy moons of Saturn and Uranus.

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In addition to the Giant Impact theory, there are several other models that have been proposed to explain how our Moon was born. One alternative model to the Giant Impact scenario suggests that Earth's Moon was once a part of our planet that simply budded off when our Solar System was in its infancy--approximately 4.5 billion years ago. According to this model, the Pacific Ocean basin would be the most likely cradle for lunar birth. A second model proposes that our Moon was really born elsewhere in our Solar System and, like the duo of tiny potato-shaped Martian moons, was eventually snared by the gravitational tug of a major planet. A third theory postulates that both Earth and Moon were born at about the same time from the same protoplanetary accretion disk, composed of gas and dust, from which our Sun's family of planets, moons, and smaller objects ultimately emerged.

Because the lunar atmosphere is very thin, it is far too sparse to prevent a steady shower of impacts from tumbling asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. These objects strike the lunar surface, leaving behind numerous crater scars. For example, Tycho Crater is over 52 miles wide.

However, the theory that has long been held to be the most likely explanation is the giant impact theory, suggesting that the Mars-sized body named Theia smashed into the ancient Earth billions of years ago. The monumental blast resulted in a portion of the primordial Earth's crust to be hurled off screaming into Space. This ancient catastrophe tossed a multitude of somersaulting moonlets into the sky, and some of this material was ultimately captured into orbit around the ancient Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, where it finally was pulled together by the force of gravity to become the Moon.