Moons in Solar System Essay

Submitted By athenawang
Words: 1070
Pages: 5


Io is the fifth of Jupiter's moons which is a yellowish body with mean radius of 1,821.3 km and whose periapsis is about 420,000 km (0.002807 AU) and apoapsis is about 423,400 km (0.002830 AU). It has a mean orbit radius approximates 421,700 km (0.002819 AU). It's orbital period is 1.769137786 days and average orbital speed is around 17.334 km/s. The rotation period of Io is synchronous with it's host planet, Jupiter. The surface of Io is composed of silicates, sulfur and 90% sulfur dioxide and has temperature about -143° C (-230° F). Io has 100 to 150 mountains and those mountains are usually large and have no global tectonic patterns outlined. The tidal heating leads Io to become one of the most volcanically active bodies in the solar system. Voyager I found many volcanic calderas and some are even active. For instance, Loki is one the most persistent volcanic areas on Io and has been observed from Earth continuously since it was discovered. When Io's volcanos erupt, the vents appear to be sulfur or sulfur dioxide. The interior of Io is composed of silicate rock and iron. Io has a density of 3.5275 g/cm^3 which is higher than any moon in the solar system. It has a metallic core with a radius between 350 and 650 km that takes up about 20% of it's mass. "The lithosphere of Io,composed of basalt and sulfur deposited by Io's extensive volcanism, is at least 12 km (7 mi) thick, but is likely to be less than 40 km (25 mi) thick."(wikipedia) The atmosphere of Io is extremely thin and composed of sulfur dioxide, sulfur monoxide, sodium chloride and atomic sulfur and oxygen.


Titan is the largest moon of Saturn with orange glow. It has mean radius of 2,576 km, periapsis of 1,186,680 km and apoapsis of 1,257,060 km. It's semi-major axis is about 1,221,870 km and orbital period is around 15.945 days. Also, Titan has the same rotation period as it's host planet Saturn has. The interior of Titan has not differentiated into distinct layers comprising a core, mantle and crust. It's interior maybe never heated up enough to cause differentiation. The surface of Titan is very cold: around -180° C (-355° F). Under this temperature, methane turns into liquid. A lot of Titan is covered by dunes and those areas look dark when seen from space. The lighter areas of Titan seems to be highlands. It is hard to observe the surface because it has a thick atmosphere which is unlike the Io's atmosphere. Titan has a relatively thick atmosphere with is made mostly of nitrogen that is just like the Earth's atmosphere. It's atmosphere is very dense and has some methane in its air, too. Also due to the low temperature which is about, the methane and ethane are appear as liquid. The clouds are near Titan's poles and there may be methane rain or snow on it.


Miranda, which is also known as Uranus V, is the eleventh of Uranus' moons and is the fifth largest and the closest one by Voyager 2. It appears silver gray with mean radius of 235.8± 0.7 km, periapsis of 129,700 km and apoapsis of 130,100 km. It's semi-major axis is about 129,390 km and orbital period is around 1.413479 days. Miranda's rotation is also the same as Uranus, which is the host planet of Miranda. Miranda is constituted by approximately equal mixture of ice and rock. It consists of huge fault canyons, terraced layers, steep cliffs, smooth plains, curiously shaped rifts and a mixture of old and young surfaces. It has a relatively small size but a lower temperature: -187° C (-335° F). "One of the most remarkable features on Miranda is known as the "chevron". It is a series of light and dark grooves arranged in a v-shape.(seasky) Miranda had intense geological activity which is indicated by the patchwork region of broken terrain of its surface. The interior of Miranda is