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Interesting facts about space.
For this reason, for many years astronomers considered the possibility that hydrocarbon lakes and seas might exist on this fantastic moon-world. Data that finally arrived courtesy of the joint NASA and European Space Agency's (ESA's) Cassini-Huygens mission lived up to their expectations. Since arriving at the Saturn system in 2004, the Cassini spacecraft has revealed more than 620,000 square miles of Titan's long-hidden, bewildering surface--and it has shown that almost two percent of Titan's entire surface is covered in liquid.
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"The key question is whether those Apollo samples represent the bulk conditions of the lunar interior or instead represent unusual or perhaps anomalous water-rich regions within an otherwise 'dry' mantle. By looking at the orbital data, we can examine the large pyroclastic deposits on the Moon that were never sampled by the Apollo or Luna missions. The fact that nearly all of them exhibit signatures of water suggests that the Apollo samples are not anomalous, so it may be that the bulk interior of the Moon is wet," explained Dr. Ralph Milliken in a July 24, 2017 Brown University Press Release. Dr. Milliken is the lead author of the new research and an associate professor in Brown University's Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. Brown University is in Providence, Rhode Island.
Mysterious and enticing--a true Wonderland world--Mars has sung its scientific siren's song for years to those who seek to understand its many long-held secrets. This small, rocky world with an intriguing red hue, gets its rusty color from the large amount of iron oxide that coats its surface. Much of this small world's charm comes from its reputation of being the happy abode of "little green men"--Earth's neighboring planet that plays host to life as we know it. However, Mars has many captivating features and bewitching mysteries, in addition to the somewhat dated idea that it is the most likely world in our Solar System--other than our Earth--to host living creatures. The duo of small potato-shaped Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, are frequently considered to be captured asteroids that the Red Planet's gravity snared when they were making an ancient and unfortunate journey through interplanetary space from their place of birth in the Main Asteroid Belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The duo of rocky objects now circle their adopted parent-planet--at least, for the time being. However, in July 2016, a team of astronomers proposed an alternative viewpoint, suggesting that the two little moons were born from an ancient impact on the Martian surface by a crashing primordial object--along with many other now long-lost little moons.
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The research published in the July 4, 2016 issue of Nature Geoscience highlights the main factor differentiating moon-birth around Mars and Earth: the differing rotation speeds of the two planets prompted "completely different tidal actions," Dr. Charnoz explained in the July 4, 2016 CNRS Press Release. Dr. Charnoz proposes that at the time of their respective impacts, "Earth took less than four hours to spin on its axis whereas Mars rotated very slowly over a 24-hour period." The result of this important difference caused Earth to hold on to its single, large Moon, while the Martian collision created a dozen smaller moons alongside a larger moon. As time went by, Martian tidal action--resulting from the planet's slow rotation rate--caused most of the moons, including the largest one, to crash back down to the surface of their parent-planet. As a result, only the two most distant moons, Phobos and Deimos, survived as testimony to the ancient catastrophe.
Planetary scientists have long theorized that Theia would have been chemically different from our planet. However, in marked contrast, more recent studies showed that the Moon and Earth appear very much alike when it comes to versions of certain elements termed isotopes--much more so than might be indicated by the current impact model. Isotopes of a particular element possess differing numbers of neutrons from one another.
The more widely accepted theory that the planets and regular moons formed together from the same swirling cloud of gas and dust, works well as an explanation for the larger moons of our Solar System, such as the four Galilean moons--Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto--orbiting the giant planet Jupiter. However, the multitude of smaller moons, swarming around the giant planets, "have so far been considered a by-product," Dr. Crida commented in the November 29, 2012 Scientific American.