It doesn’t take a Neil deGrasse Tyson to figure out just how amazing astronomy really is. Indeed, for the longest time ever, mankind has had a penchant for the spectacular when it comes to star gazing.
Honestly speaking, there’s really no one to blame for this. The night sky in all its glory is really quite something.
Given just how large the moon appears from earth’s vantage point, it’s little wonder that our very first exploration to outer space was in our very own moon.
As natural satellites, moons orbit planets and asteroids in our solar system. In pretty much the same fashion that our very own planets and asteroids orbit the sun, it’s all like a carousel of sorts.
Having shared that, it’s notable that moons take on all kinds of shapes and sizes. In our solar system, it’s not uncommon to spot a couple of airless moons. Revealingly, there are some which have atmospheres and hidden oceans.
That is where today’s debate brings us. Do the moons of the solar system actually support life? That aside, which planet has the most moons?
Well, if you’re intrigued about this topic, then it’s probably time for us to share some truth bombs with you.
Number of Moons of the Solar System = 0
As the closest planet to the sun, Mercury does not have the ideal conditions to support any life. The side which is facing the sun is way too hot to support any meaningful growth while the side facing away from the sun is way too cold to harbor any creatures.
To really get a gist of just how intense the sun’s rays are on Mercury, there’s been scientific reports which propose that heat from the sun on Mercury is so intense that it can instantly vaporize atmospheres of oxygen.
Of course, there’s always the fair chance that there’s life deep within the planet, but, that’s just speculation at present.
Number of Moons of the Solar System = 0
Residing within the Goldilocks zone (a region at just the right distance from the sun to support life), many people once believed that there was actually life on Venus.
After space probes were deployed though, the findings indicated that the planet was way too hot with a sulfuric atmosphere to support any life. While some microbial forms can survive in such conditions, it’s highly unlikely that this is the case with Venus.
Number of Moons of the Solar System = 1
Earth has just the right ingredients for life to thrive. The conditions are so ideal that more than 7 billion people inhabit the planet. That’s of course, before adding up the millions of other animals including tiny micro-organisms.
The lack of atmosphere on the Earth’s moon surface makes it impossible for it to support life. Combing through the history books, you’ll realize that the moon’s formation happened after a planetoid smashed into the early Earth before life even existed. With this in mind, it’s not feasible that any kind of viral pollution actually transferred to the moon.
Fun Fact on Which Planet Has the Most Moons
If you’re a space enthusiast, then, there’s high chance you’ve heard of the Panspermia theory which posits that life didn’t originate on earth. Rather, life forms crash landed on earth via an asteroid or comet.
All things being equal, it this is true, then, there’s a fairly good chance that there may be a planet just like ours that supports life somewhere out there in the universe. Heck, it might even be in one of our neighboring galaxies like the Andromeda galaxy.
Number of Moons of the Solar System = 2
The red planet has long been a subject of intrigue and fascination. There are countless theories which have been suggested in the past and continue to do so thanks to the marvel of space comics.
From a scientific point of view, all these theories are quite plausible, especially when you consider that Mars resides in the Goldilocks zone. That said, it’s highly unlikely for this to be the case thanks to the lack of an atmosphere on the planet.
The two moons of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos are believed to have been formed when two gargantuan asteroids flew within Mars’ horizons before they were pulled into orbit. Another theory hypothesizes that they might have been formed in the same manner that the earth’s moon came into being when a heavenly body crashed into the planet.
Number of Moons of the Solar System = 79
Jupiter is undisputedly the largest planet in our solar system. The planet has such an intense gravitational pressure that many believe anything capable of finding its way into the planet can easily be crushed into pea-size proportions. This factoid alone means that Jupiter is incapable of supporting life.
If you’ve been pondering about which planet has the most moons, then, look no further. Among its accolades, Jupiter has the enviable title of harboring the highest number of moons of the solar system.
With an impressive 79 moons, Jupiter’s moons are so many that only 53 moons have been named. The remaining 26 are currently awaiting official names. Of all these moons, there’s a fairly good chance that 2 of these moons can support life
Insights on Which Planet has the Most Moons
This colossal moon is the biggest in our solar system. It’s so large that it even trumps Mercury in terms of size. With oxygen having already been discovered on this moon’s atmosphere, it’s quite feasible that life exists here.
While there’s an icy exterior coating the Ganymede moon, there’s a fairly good chance that beneath the core, water resides there. This is of course after having made the assumption that the planet core is hot enough to permit water to flow freely.
Just like Ganymede, this moon has an icy crust. Remarkably, plumes of steam have been occasionally spotted ejected out of the surface.
Europa is highly regarded as the best candidate among moons of the solar system which can support life. In the future, the odds are high that science missions will be devised to study this moon.
Number of Moons = 62
Situated right after Jupiter, Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system. The rings around this planet are quite prominent thanks to the fact that they consist of rocks and ice. Given the rocky core and zero atmosphere, Saturn is not inhabitable as a planet.
The best chance for life to occur on Saturn is probably on its moons Titan and Enceladus.
Insights on Which Planet has the Most Moons
As imposing as the name suggests, Titan doesn’t have the biggest moon in the solar system. As referenced earlier, that title belongs to Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede.
What makes Titan extraordinary is the fact that it has an atmosphere. As you would expect, scientists have a keen interest in knowing whether this moon can support life. The Cassini Spacecraft was deployed to the moon back in the 90s to ascertain whether the atmospheric conditions are favorable for life to occur.
The findings so far show that methane actually exists in the atmosphere. Given the fact that methane on earth is usually produced by living organisms, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Titan may support life. Nothing conclusive has yet to be found though.
This Saturnian moon is one of the other likely destinations in our solar system where life might just exist. NASA has already pinpointed Enceladus as a moon worth exploring thanks to the possibility of water existing beneath the ice sheet surface. The deployment of probes in the future is likely going to shed some more light into this.
Number of Moons = 14
This mammoth gas giant is bluish in appearance and is currently the furthest planet from the sun. Given the fact that Neptune doesn’t have a solid surface resembling Mars or Earth, chances are that it has a rocky core which is not ideal for life to thrive.
As a gas giant, Neptune’s atmosphere has shades of methane. This implies that it’s quite possible that living organisms (probably microscopic) are actually responsible for the production of this gas.
This review should answer your queries on which planet has the most moons. Looking at the data, it’s quite evident that free-flowing water, an atmosphere, and energy source are just a few of the prerequisites for life to exist on any of the celestial bodies.
Of the planets reviewed, only earth has the right concoction for life to flourish. With time, our travels to the planets in our solar system and other galaxies may reveal a little bit extra on whether we’re all alone in the universe.
We’re certain Hollywood movie directors will be quick to pounce on the advent of such discoveries. After all, the cosmos have always fascinated mankind.
AstroReality has also designed and crafted the 3D printed models of the planets and moons in our solar system. Depict your space imagination and build your own solar system today.