Saturn has 82 moons, Jupiter has 79 moons, but Earth only has 1 moon? Why do outer planets have more satellites? Yes, besides Saturn and Jupiter, evidence of outer planets has more satellites also visible from the number of moons on Neptune and Uranus. Uranus has 27 moons and Neptune has 14 moons.
Compared to outer planets that have many satellites, inner planets like Venus and Mercury don’t even have a moon, and Mars has only two moons.
We find out an explanation of why the outer planets have more satellites, let’s go!
Planet’s Natural Satellite
We call the Earth’s satellites the Moon, but there are many other moons (natural satellites) orbiting the planets in the Solar System.
In our Solar System, there are hundreds of moons, even dwarf planets, and asteroids that also have their own moons. The shapes, types, and types of natural satellites are also different in every planet or celestial body.
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Why do Outer planets have more satellites?
Despite having thousands of artificial satellites, our Earth has only one natural satellite, the Moon. The number of moons as natural satellites on other planets varies. But the outer planets have more natural satellites.
In fact, the number of natural satellites on the outer planets can still increase. Outer planets are giant gas planets formed in environments far different from the inner planets.
Outer planets are formed in a very cold environment, where water is ice. The situation is one of the driving forces outside the planet is very large in size.
Well, because outer planets occupy large volumes of space and the gravitational force of the Sun which is getting lower, around it is like a miniature “solar system”.
According to the Astronomy.com site, every outer planet has the power to attract material and has a disk of gas, dust, and ice around it when it is formed. Now, any dust and ice that does not form planets will join one another into moons or natural satellites.
Natural satellites on the outer planets are in orbit close to the equator on the planets they follow. Another reason is that the gravitational forces of giant planets are in a large area, so they can capture celestial objects that pass and make it the moon that follows them.
Why do planets have fewer satellites?
Unlike the outer planets, the inner planets are formed near the Sun and there are not many space objects around them. The inner planets are formed from space rocks and are not formed big enough to be able to capture the surrounding gas and dust discs.
Earth’s natural satellite itself is thought to have formed due to a collision. Giant celestial bodies that hit the Earth may make parts flung into a natural satellite, the Moon.
However, the origins of Earth’s natural satellites are also still being studied, friends. Mars’s natural satellite may have been formed from collisions of gas or asteroids captured by the planet.
While Mercury and Venus are thought to have satellites in the past, due to the distance of the two planets close to the Sun, it could be that the planet’s satellites are unstable over time.
That is the explanation why the outer planets have many satellites!