Science and Technology : Is The Moon A Planet?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by UBNaturally, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What are moons, where did they come from, and what are they for?

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    What makes a planet a planet? The Moon is so big compared to the Earth — roughly one-quarter our planet’s size — that occasionally you will hear our system being referred to as a “double planet”. Is this correct?

    And we all remember how quickly the definition of a planet changed in 2006 when more worlds similar to Pluto were discovered. So can the Moon stay the Moon, or is the definition subject to change?


    Read more...
    http://www.universetoday.com/85749/is-the-moon-a-planet




    Why Pluto Now Has Five Moons, but It’s Still Not a Planet
    It's rapidly becoming the little planetoid that could, with more satellites than the inner four planets put together. But that doesn't mean Pluto's getting any more love.

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    This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated S/2012 (134340) 1, or P5.

    If ever a spacecraft had the right to turn around and come home, it’s NASA‘s little New Horizons ship. Launched on Jan. 19, 2006, it was dispatched on a mission no other ship had ever dared attempt — fly out and reconnoiter Pluto, the most distant and mysterious planet in the solar system. Little more than seven months later, however — on Aug. 14, 2006 — word came down from the International Astronomical Union that, oops!, Pluto isn’t a planet after all.


    Read more...
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/07/13/why-pluto-now-has-five-moons-but-its-still-not-a-planet/

    Other related source:
    http://www.universetoday.com/13573/why-pluto-is-no-longer-a-planet/




    New Take On an Ancient Mystery: How Earth Got its Moon
    Lunar history has always been murky, and a new paper offers additional riddles

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    It’s a general rule in science that the more you know about some aspect of the natural world, the better you understand it. But rules are sometimes broken, and the question of how Earth got its Moon is a very good example of that. Planetary scientists back in the early 1980s concluded that the Moon was born around 4.5 billion years ago, when a Mars-sized object, now deceased, struck Earth a glancing blow at a relatively slow speed, creating a disk of debris that congealed into the familiar, modern Moon. That scenario fit nicely with Earth’s rotation rate and the Moon’s orbit and made particular sense since 4.5 billion years ago, there was a lot more free-flying debris in the solar system than there is today. Plus, says Sarah Stewart, a planetary scientist at Harvard, “It’s something you could explain in a sentence to your grandmother.”

    Unfortunately, a growing body of evidence suggests that what we’ve been telling grandma is probably wrong—and a report just published in Nature makes clear exactly how murky the story of the Moon’s origin has now become. The central problem with the original theory, says author Robin Canup, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, is geological: the Moon simply looks too much like the Earth. “The disk of debris that formed the Moon should have come mostly from the impacting body,” she says, “which we think should have had a chemically different composition from Earth.”


    Read more...
    http://science.time.com/2013/12/04/new-take-on-an-ancient-mystery-how-earth-got-its-moon


    • At 3,475 km in diameter, the Moon is larger than Pluto. The diameter of Pluto is 1,430 miles (2,302 km), only about two-thirds the diameter of the moon.




    Two of the "Moons" of Saturn

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    Mimas


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    Tethys


    Also, why is Earth's moon called "the Moon", while other planets have exclusive names for theirs?

    The technical term for them are satellites, but it still beckons the above question when discussing "moons".
     
  2. umbrarchist

    umbrarchist Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wasn't The Moon an obvious astronomical fixture long before there was any astronomy or discovery of any other "moons"?

    So isn't it a matter of semantics before it is a matter of science? How old is SCIENCE?
     
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  3. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To answer the question, indeed... well, at least we presume.

    But doesn't one have to study something before they can label it using semantics?
    Would an ocean and a pond be a matter of semantics or science... or both?
     
  4. umbrarchist

    umbrarchist Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I do not doubt that every culture around the world had names for the Sun and the Moon centuries before Galileo discovered the "moons" of Jupiter. As far as I know they were the first "moons" discovered orbiting any other planet.

    But the Sun and Moon were just lights in the sky with predictable movements. It does not mean people understood much about what they were.
     
  5. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My question was relating to the difference that the use of semantics creates for the purpose of scientific agreement.
    But regardless... since it is all semantics, is the so called "Earth" also a light in the sky?

    What makes the moon a light in the sky by the way?
     
  6. Enki

    Enki The Evolved Amphibian STAFF

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    This doesn't make sense.

    If the moon is bigger than the earth (which it isn't), how can it be 1/4 of the earth's size?

    Peace!
     
  7. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It didn't say "bigger"... it said "the Moon is so big compared to the Earth" 1/4 the size of Earth.


    Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the largest in this solar system.
    According to information from NASA, if Ganymede were to break free of Jupiter’s gravitational pull it would be classified as a planet.

    Source:
    http://www.universetoday.com/15509/what-is-the-largest-moon-in-the-solar-system
     
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  8. Enki

    Enki The Evolved Amphibian STAFF

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    OIC....my bad...thanks for the clarification.

    Peace!
     
  9. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    other planets have more than one moon. <shrug> suppose they could be called "moon1", "moon2" (or "moonA"/"moonalpha" ...), but man does get whimsical.

    course, i suppose we could give luna a name ...
     
  10. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I was chewing on this as well when I posted this initially, but tried to avoid the convolution.
    Another planet has only one, but it has a name other than "moon"... chuckles @ moonalpa, that might work.


    If Earth had 4 other so called "satellites" that orbited it that were of the same size, would that be considered moons because they orbit the Earth?

    And in this case, could the Earth become a "moon" if a larger celestial body were to enter into our orbit as the central point?

    This goes back to the question of "is the moon a planet" or what makes a "moon" a "moon"?
    Regardless of how many there might be, what makes them so called "moons"?
     
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