Scientists believe that Earth’s moon may be orbited by smaller moons.
Scientists have found that four moons in our solar system meet the necessary requirements to host a mini-satellite: Earth’s moon, Jupiter’s moon Callisto, and Saturn’s moons Titan and Iapetus.
Submoons, aka Moonmoon’s which follow our moon as it orbits the Earth may be as large as a Skyscraper, say astronomers.
However, while experts argue that these moons can exist, experts have yet to confirm their existence.
New calculations suggest that Moonmoon+s could be common in our solar system.
Earth’s moon, Jupiter’s moon Callisto, and Saturn’s moons Titan, as well as Iapetus all, have the perfect conditions to host a moonmoon scientists have concluded.
Following decades of speculations and theories, experts at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Bordeaux teamed in order to calculate, for the first time the conditions required for a moonmoon to form.
Computer simulations have suggested that such cosmic objects could only exist around larger moons that are relatively far away from their home planets.
Scientists found that Moonmoons would have to orbit their home planet within a very fine distance margin.
‘Something has to kick a rock into orbit at the right speed that it would go into orbit around a moon, and not the planet or the star,’ study co-author Dr. Sean Raymond, of the University of Bordeaux, explained in an interview with New Scientist.
Experts argue that if the Moon of any planet shifted its position during the course of its evolution–like Earth’s moon has– then it is unlikely that the moonmoon would have remained in orbit.
‘I think we can say for sure that there’s not a moonmoon that’s kilometers across around Jupiter or Saturn,’ Queen’s University Belfast astronomer Michele Bannister, who was not involved in the study, told New Scientist.
‘A moonmoon down to the size of a skyscraper could exist out there, but I’d call it moonmoonlet.’