moons

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Scientists Found Something Surprising Near Uranus

The gas giant may have two small, undiscovered moons

(Newser) - Scientists are taking a closer look at Uranus after strange patterns turned up in images from 30 years ago. Engadget reports that researchers looking at data from NASA's Voyager 2—which became the only spacecraft ever to fly by Uranus when it did so in 1986—noticed that the... More »

2 Tiny Moons Orbiting Mars May Be Sole Survivors of Many

Scientists question the prevailing theory of how the 2 moons formed

(Newser) - The two moons that orbit Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are pretty dinky as far as moons go, clocking in at just 14 and 7.7 miles wide respectively and known for being rather pathetic potato-shaped bodies that more closely resemble asteroids. And so astronomers have hypothesized that they are in... More »

We Need to Rename Mars' Moons Quickly

Phobos and Deimos are way too dark, writes essayist

(Newser) - Each new discovery about Mars seems to show that it's more like Earth than we imagined. NASA, meanwhile, is firming up plans for a trip there. It's high time, then, for a long overdue chore, writes Fortunato Salazar in the Guardian —we've got to rename the... More »

Single Photo Shows 3 Crescent Moons

Image from Cassini orbiter shows Titan, Rhea, and Mimas in all their crescent glory

(Newser) - It's not often (as in never) that we're able to look up into the night sky and see three crescent moons floating serenely above us. But thanks to a picture from the Cassini orbiter released by NASA, we're able to get a rare look at what three... More »

Astronomers Ignore People's Pick for Pluto Moon Name

Moons named Styx and Kerberos, despite William Shatner's campaign

(Newser) - Though Star Trek fans (led by William Shatner) overwhelmingly won an online vote to name one of Pluto's recently found moons "Vulcan" earlier this year, the International Astronomical Union has decided against the moniker. It has named the former planet's fourth and fifth moons "Styx" and... More »

'Vulcan' Wins Pluto's Moon Naming Contest

'Captain Kirk' hails win as Cerberus comes 2nd

(Newser) - The contest to pick Hades-related names for Pluto's fourth and fifth moons is over and the winner will be familiar to Star Trek fans: Vulcan was the runaway winner of the poll at plutorocks.com , taking 174,000 votes out of 475,000 cast for 21 candidates. Vulcan is... More »

2 Pluto Moons in Need of Devilish Names

P4 and P5 will soon be called something more underworld-y

(Newser) - Want to name Pluto's two tiniest moons? Then you'll need to dig deep into mythology. Astronomers announced a contest today to name the two itty-bitty moons of Pluto discovered over the past two years . Three Pluto moons already have names associated with Hades and the underworld: Charon, the... More »

Moon No. 5 Found for Pluto

Just 6 miles across, P5 is Pluto's smallest moon yet

(Newser) - It's not a chapter in the Twilight series, but it is a new moon: astronomers have discovered a tiny fifth satellite revolving around distant Pluto, reports Space.com . One year after P4 was announced, now the Hubble Telescope has spied a fifth moon. Pluto's biggest moon, Charon, is... More »

European Mission: Can Life Exist on Jupiter's Moons?

JUICE probe will launch in 2022

(Newser) - The first Europe-led mission to the outer solar system will explore the icy moons of Jupiter. The European Space Agency approved the JUICE—JUpiter ICy moons Explorer—mission yesterday. The project's solar-powered spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022 and arrive in the Jovian system by 2030 to spend... More »

NASA Nabs Close-Ups of 'Spongy' Saturn Moon

NASA's Cassini probe snaps ultra-close image of Hyperion

(Newser) - NASA's Cassini probe did a fly-by of Saturn’s Hyperion moon, and came away with close-up images that show a remarkably sponge-like surface, the Daily Mail reports. The moon, one of at least 62 ringing the planet, is covered with deep craters, and NASA scientists are hoping to discover what’... More »

Saturn's Moon Hints at Water

High speeds strongly hint at liquid water's presence

(Newser) - Plumes of gas and dust firing off one of Saturn's moons are moving at speeds “hard to do without liquids,” astronomers say, strongly suggesting the presence of water and raising the possibility of the moon supporting life. As Enceladus continues “helpfully spewing out its innards,” evidence... More »

Saturn Moon Rings Detected

Rhea could be be the first known moon with rings

(Newser) - Saturn’s second-largest moon, Rhea, could be the first known moon with rings. The spacecraft Cassini detected apparent evidence of rings when it spotted debris around Rhea as it flew by in 2005, reports space.com. The set of rings has not been directly seen, but scientists inferred that the... More »

Meet Frank, Saturn's 60th Moon

Planet's latest addition sparks search for more

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered Saturn’s 60th moon, and are hinting that more could exist. In May, cameras aboard the Cassini spacecraft captured the “extremely faint object,” which scientists have officially designated a moon and tentatively named Frank. Composed mostly of ice and rock, Frank is about a mile... More »

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