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Book Reviews – Moons of the Solar System

Book Reviews - Moons of the Solar System

This book captures the complex world of planetary moons, which are more diverse than Earth’s sole satellite might lead you to believe. New missions continue to find more of these planetary satellites, making an up to date guide more necessary than ever. Why do Mercury and Venus have no moons at all? Earth’s  Moon, of course, is covered in the book with highly detailed maps. Then we move outward to the moons of Mars, then on to many of the more notable asteroid moons, and finally to a list of less-notable ones.

All the major moons of the gas giant planets are covered in great detail, while the lesser-known satellites of these worlds are also touched on. Readers will learn of the remarkable trans-Neptunian Objects – Pluto, Eris, Sedna, Quaoar –including many of those that have been given scant attention in the literature. More than just objects to read about, the planets’ satellites provide us with important information about the history of the solar system. Projects to help us learn more about the moons are included throughout the book. Most amateur astronomers can name some of the more prominent moons in the solar system, but few are intimately familiar with the full variety that exists in our backyard: 146 and counting. As our understanding of the many bodies in our solar system broadens, this is an invaluable tour of our expanding knowledge of the moons both near and far.

Part I. Moons
1. Mercury and Venus …………………….. 3
Why No Real Moons? …………………… 3
Mercury ……………………………… 3
Venus ……………………………. 4
2. Earth and Luna …………………….. 7
Luna ………………………………………….. 7
Formation and Origin …………….. 7
Impact on Earth ……………………………. 10
Selected Lunar Features ……………….. 13
Descriptions ……………………………… 22
Other Near Earth Objects …………….. 51
3. Mars ……………………………….. 59
Phobos ……………………………………. 62
Deimos ……………………………………. 63
Trojans ……………………………………… 65
Mars Crossers/Hungaria Family ………………… 66
4. The Asteroid Belt ……………………………. 69
The Main Belt ………………………………….. 69
Comets ………………………………………. 70
Main-Belt Asteroids/Hungaria Family …………….. 71
A Final Note ………………………….. 80
5. Jupiter …………………………… 81
Rings ……………………………………………. 81
Amalthea (or Inner) Group …………….. 84
The Galilean Moons ………………………… 87
Io ……………………………………………. 88
Europa …………………………………… 92
Ganymede …………………………….. 94
Callisto …………………………….. 95
Themisto ………………………………. 98
Himalia Group …………………………… 98
Carpo …………………………………….. 100
S/2003 J 12 and S/2011 J 1 ………….. 100
Ananke Group ……………………………….. 100
Carme Group …………………….. 100
Pasiphae Group ………………………. 101
S/2003 J 2 ………………………………… 102
Jupiter Trojans …………………………….. 102
6. Saturn ………………………………….. 105
Types of Moons ……………………… 108
Alkyonides ………………………. 108
Co-orbital …………………………….. 108
Dynamical Families………………. 108
Inner Moons ………………………. 108
Outer Moons ……………………. 109
Shepherd Moons ………………….. 109
Trojan Moons …………………. 110
Descriptions ……………………………. 110
Very Minor Moons Not Classed Elsewhere ……….. 110
Minor Moons Not Classed Elsewhere ……………. 113
Mimas………………………………… 120
Enceladus ………………… 122
Tethys ………………………… 125
Dione ……………………… 126
Rhea ……………………………. 130
Titan ………………………… 134
Hyperion ……………………. 139
Iapetus ……………………….. 141
Phoebe …………………………. 143
Gallic Group ………………….. 145
Inuit Group ……………………. 146
Norse Group ………………………. 146
Chiron ………………… 147
Themis ………………………. 147
Others …………………………. 148
7. Uranus ………………………….. 149
Descriptions ……………………… 149
Moon Discoveries? …………….. 152
Inner Moons …………………… 152
Miranda ……………. 158
Ariel ………………………………. 159
Umbriel ………………………… 161
Titania ……………………. 162
Oberon ……………………… 164
Irregular Moons ……………… 166
Margaret ……………………….. 168
8. Neptune ………………………………. 171
Descriptions …………………….. 171
Inner Moons …………………….. 171
Triton ………………………….. 177
Nereid …………………………………. 181
Retrograde Irregular Moons ……….. 182
Prograde Irregular Moons ……….. 183
9. Distant Minor Planets …………. 185
Cis-Neptunian Objects …………….. 185
TNOs …………………………….. 185
Centaurs with Moons ………… 187
Cubewanos with Moons ……………. 192
Plutinos with Moons …………… 193
RTNOs with Moons ……………. 196
SDOs with Moons …………………… 196
Part II. Projects
10. Logging/Blogging ………………….. 199
What to Record ………………. 199
Computers ………………………… 201
11. c: The Speed of Light …………. 203
Measuring Space with Numbers ……… 203
The Speed of Light: A Brief History ……….. 204
So What Is the Speed of Light in a Vacuum? …… 205
Playing with the Speed of Light ………………… 205
12. Telescopic Moon Targets ……….. 211
Observation …………………………. 211
Jupiter and Its Moons ………………. 212
Age and Vision ………………….. 212
Darkness …………………….. 213
Distance ……………… 213
Glare ………………………………. 214
Trying It Out …………………….. 214
13. Life on Moon Worlds ………………. 217
An Alternative Lifestyle? ……….. 217
Habitability Concerns …………… 217
Temporal Concerns ……………….. 220
Vacation Among the Stars ………. 221
Io ………………………. 221
Saturn …………………….. 221
Uranus …………………… 223
Triton ………………………… 223
14. Citizen Science ……………. 225
Distributed Computing …………… 225
Citizen Science ……………….. 226
Remote Observing ………………. 227
Google Moon …………………… 227

Book Reviews – Moons of the Solar System


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