Individuals think that the largest moon in our solar system is the Moon of Earth but it is not true and even many people think that there is just one moon in this whole universe but the reality is different. Out of eight planets of our solar system, six planets have moons. It is just Mercury and Venus that do not contain any moon and are deprived of natural satellites. According to scientists there are at least 146 moons that orbits around those planets. It is the Earth that contains only one moon while the others planets contain more than one moon, all vary in their characters. Here is the list of top 10 largest planetary moons in our solar system. Read this article and entertain yourself with the interesting knowledge.
10. Oberon, Uranus
Oberon is also termed as Uranus IV, and is the outermost major moon of the Uranus. It is the second most massive and second largest of the Uranian moons and has a diameter of 1,532 km. It was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel in 1787. Its crust is heavily cratered and it is believed that it is composed of half rocky material and half water ice. The craters are the most marked feature of this planetary moon and some of them exhibit luminous rays of ejecta material.
9. Rhea, Saturn
Rhea also designated as Saturn V is the second largest moon of Saturn and has a diameter of 1,528 km. It is a cold, small, airless body that resembles to sister moons Tethys and Dione. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Cassini. It is an icy body and has very low density, which indicates that it consists primarily of water ice with stony material. Rhea is one of the solar system’s most heavily cratered satellites.
8. Titania, Uranus
It is the largest moon of the planet Uranus with a diameter of 1,578 km and was discovered in 1787, by William Herschel. This planetary moon is named after the queen of fairies in the Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is composed of almost equal amounts of rock and ice, and is possibly discriminated into an icy mantle and a rocky core. Infrared spectroscopy that was conducted from 2001 to 2005 disclosed the existence of water ice and also frozen carbon dioxide on the crust of Titania.
7. Triton, Neptune
This unusual moon is the largest moon of the planet Neptune and was discovered by British astronomer William Lassell in 1846. It is unusual in the way that it is the only large moon in Solar system that has a retrograde orbit. Triton has a diameter of 2,704 km and according to spacecraft images it has a comparatively cratered surface with sleek volcanic plains, heaps and round cavities formed by icy lava flows. It is composed of a surface of frozen nitrogen over an icy cloak believed to cover a core of metal and rock.
6. Europa, Jupiter
Europa also known as Jupiter II is the planet Jupiter’s sixth closest moon and the smallest of its four Galilean satellites. It was discovered by Galileo Galilei, in 1960 and probably by Simon Marius around the same time. It is an icy world and is little bit smaller than the moon of the Earth having a diameter of 3,138 km. It is basically made of silicate rock and possibly has an iron core. It is an exclusive planetary moon in the solar system, as it is thought that it possesses a global ocean of water in contact with a stony seafloor. If it is proved that the ocean exists than Europa would be a bright place to look for life after Earth.
5. Moon, Earth
The moon is the only natural satellite of Earth and is known as the second most dense satellite among the satellites whose densities are known. It is the most glowing object in the sky after the Sun and is in synchronous rotation with Earth. It has a rocky, solid- surface body, with much of its surface pitted and blemished from impacts. This is the only celestial body other than earth that has been visited by human beings and over 100 spacecraft has been launched to survey the moon. This is the moon that has made the Earth a more livable planet due to its rotation that leads to a stable climate and creates a tidal rhythm that has protected human for many years. It has a diameter of 3,475 km.
4. Lo, Jupiter
It is the inmost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and has a diameter of 3,462 km or 2,263 miles, was named after the mythical character lo. It is perhaps the weirdest looking object to be discovered by Voyager spacecraft and is unlike any other planetary moon. Its surface is covered by numerous strange features, including its surface is blemished with more colors than that could even imagine. Many of these features are thought to be due to sulfur and sulfur containing objects at different temperatures. This planetary moon is the most geologically active object in the Solar system with more than 400 active volcanoes and this extreme geologic activity is a consequence of tidal heating from friction. Lo played an important role in developing the astronomy in the 17th and 18th centuries.
3. Callisto, Jupiter
Callisto is the solar system’s third largest moon and the Jovian system’s second largest moon after Ganymede. It is the moon of the planet Jupiter and was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. It has a diameter of 4,800 km or 2,983 miles which is approximately 99% the diameter of the Mercury but has only about a third of its mass.
It is less affected by magnetic field of Jupiter than other inner surfaces as it orbits farther away. It is composed of almost equal amounts of rock and ices and its interior is possibly similar to Ganymede other than the inner rocky core which is smaller, and this core is encircled by a large icy mantle. It is the most densely cratered object in the solar system and is considered to be a huge dead world. Its crust is the darkest of the Galileans, but it is glossier than our own Moon.
2. Titan, Saturn
Titan also known as Saturn VI is the largest moon of Saturn and is the only natural satellite that is known to possess a dense atmosphere, and the only substance other than Earth for which solid proof of lasting bodies of surface liquid has been found. It is generally characterized as a planet like moon and has a diameter of 5,150 km or 3,200 miles which is 50% larger than the natural satellite of Earth, the Moon, and is 80% more massive. It was discovered by Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens in 1655 and was the first known moon of Saturn.
This planetary moon is composed of rocky material and water ice and is surrounded by a thick, golden haze, and only few kinds of cameras and telescopes can see through the haze. Its dense, opaque atmosphere had made the surface difficult to understand. This satellite is of great interest to scientists due to its dense complex atmosphere and has flowing liquids on its surface.
1. Ganymede, Jupiter
The largest planetary moon in the solar system is Ganymede which is a satellite of Jupiter and has a diameter of 5,269 km or 3,274 miles, it is three times larger than Moon orbiting Earth. The credit of its discovery goes to Galileo on 11th of January, 1610. It is the 7th moon and 3rd Galilean Satellite outward from Jupiter, it completes an orbit in approximately seven days. This planetary moon is composed of generally equal amounts of water ice and silicate rocks.
It is a fully discriminated body with an iron rich, liquid core, and it might have oceans and ice shaped up in various layers. Its surface is composed of two major sorts of terrain. The dark regions are saturated with circular depressions, cover about a third of satellite and the light regions are cut across by comprehensive ridges and grooves and cover the remainder satellite.
It is known to be the only moon in the solar system that generates a magnetic field due to its iron metallic core that is surrounded by a veil of rock. It has also a thin oxygen atmosphere that incorporates O, oxygen and possibly ozone.