USA Space Program race to space contest 2016 Space Program USA

USA Space Program race to space contest 2016 Space Program USA

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It is important to know at any age!

The exact composition of these bodies of liquid remained unknown until 2014, when the radar instrument aboard Cassini was first used to show that Ligeia Mare, the second largest sea on Titan, is richly endowed with methane. Ligeia Mare is similar in size to two of the Great Lakes on Earth combined--Lake Huron and Lake Michigan! The new study, published in the February 25, 2016 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, which used the radar instrument in a different mode, independently confirmed the 2014 result. "It's a marvelous feat of exploration that we're doing extraterrestrial oceanography on an alien moon," commented Dr. Steve Wall in an April 26, 2016 Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Press Release. Dr. Wall, who is of the JPL in Pasadena, California, is Cassini radar team deputy lead.



and here is another

The new study is based on data gathered by Cassini's radar instrument during flybys of Titan between 2007 and 2015.



and finally

Born approximately 4.51 billion years ago, Earth's companion world formed soon after our own planet's birth in the primordial Solar System. The average separation between Earth and Moon is about 238,000 miles (1.28 light-seconds), and it is locked in synchronous rotation with Earth--meaning that it always shows us the same face. The near-side of our Moon is known for its bewitching dark volcanic maria (Latin for seas) that are located between large impact craters, as well as for its very ancient, bright crustal highlands. The lunar surface is really extremely dark--even though it appears to be very bright in the night sky above our planet--with a reflectance only a bit higher than that of old asphalt. The prominent position of our lunar companion in the dark midnight sky, as well as its rhythmic and regular cycle of phases, made our Moon an important influence on human culture ever since ancient times--especially in mythology, art, language, and on calendars.

Other facts:

Earth's Moon completes one orbit around our planet every 27 days, and it rotates (spins) at the same rate. Because Earth is also moving--rotating on its axis as it circles our Star--from our perspective our lunar companion appears to orbit us every 29 days.



A moon is an enchanting thing! There are more than 100 lovely moons circling the eight major planets in our Solar System, alone--including our own beloved Moon--the brightest and largest gleaming object suspended in the brilliantly starry night sky above the Earth. But how did the moons of our Solar System come into being?



Seven sister moons circle Saturn as it whirls around in the realm of the giant planets, so far from the light and warmth of our Sun. The moons have kept the secret of their mysterious origins very well--but they are now beginning to reveal their hidden past.