Do all planets have moons? What are the most important and when discovered?

“@miguelelgodo: All the planets have moons? What are the most important and when discovered? #preguntalealaluna “

Galileo Galilei was the first person to direct his telescope to the stars in 1609. It was in January 1610 when he observed for several successive days, from the city of Padova (Italy) how four blips accompanied Jupiter in its tenuous translational movement, changing their relative positions day after day; what did you conclude that these blips revolved around Jupiter. Therefore, “we can show at least that the Earth is not the only center of the universe”.Which was no small feat. This marked a definitive end to the geocentric theory and the birth of the scientific method coup. What had been mathematically proposed by Copernicus it was experimentally demonstrated by Galileo. Interestingly, this cold water to theories more staunchly defended by the Church occurred in a place from which Galileo observed Jupiter precisely located above the majestic domes of the Basilica of San Antonio de Padua, symbol of the hegemonic power of Catholicism and, even today, it is part of the Vatican State.

Discovered moons were baptized, so unwise as Lunas Medici, in relation to Cosimo de ‘Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, whose court wanted to emigrate Galileo. Finally the four moons discovered by Galileo were called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Besides these four moons, which were first discovered, Jupiter has 63 other moons were being discovered from 1904 in a fifth Jovian moon called Himalia was discovered. This huge amount of objects that revolve around Jupiter were named with names of lovers, conquests, children … the prolific father of all gods.

The rest of the moons of the solar system, that many have had no significance as the discovery of the Jovian moons, at least until the inner planets Mercury and Venus have no satellites and Earth has only one, our beloved moon.

Mars has two small satellites, Phobos and Deimos discovered in 1877, both irregularly due to its low gravity by having a size of just over 20 km of major axis in one case and 10 in another.The minimum size for an object reaches spherical symmetry is above the 400 km in diameter size from which achieves its gravitational pull such symmetry is achieved.

Saturn has 62 satellites, but the most prominent by far is Titan, which has a radius of 2576 km, being greater than that of Mercury, and has an atmosphere and oceans of methane. It was discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655, and currently visited by the Huygens probe.Other satellites that can be seen with a telescope are Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys Dione, Rhea, Hyperion, Iapetus and Phoebe.

Uranus has 27 moons. The most important are in order of size: Titania, Oberon, both discovered by William Herschel in 1787, Umbriel, Ariel and Miranda were discovered before the space age. Their names, exceptionally, belong to characters from Shakespeare and Pope writers.

Neptune’s largest moon Triton is by far, the following far behind Proteus and Nereid and so on to complete 14. Five of them were discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989 and the rest during the current century.

The so-called “dwarf planet” Pluto has a relatively large satellite called Charon, is the largest satellite in the solar system relative to the size of your planet, also has four other smaller satellites.

– Federico Fernández Porredón. Professor of high school in physics, chemistry and astronomy


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