12. Ganymede – The Largest of them All
It wouldn’t be an understatement to refer to Ganymede as the king of all moons, as this Jovian moon happens to be the largest in the Solar System. It is even bigger than planet mercury, and if only it orbited around the sun, it would have been a planet itself.
It features an icy surface that is laden with craters, grooves and rock formations, with a molten core that makes it possible for Ganymede to boost a magnetosphere of its own within the magnetosphere of Jupiter.
In 1996, several pictures taken through the Hubble telescope revealed the presence of a thin layer of atmosphere around Ganymede, which contained oxygen, which was too less to sustain human life.
13. Miranda – The Moon with Canyons
Miranda is a tiny moon that orbits Uranus, and it features a diameter of 500 km. Even though scientists have not discovered any kind of tectonic activity, the surface of this small moon features an abundance of canyons. These canyons are 12 times more dense and deeper than the Grand Canyon, and the surface boosts a variety of textures.
The surface of Miranda has been categorized into various different areas that are distinctive in their characteristics, including cratered, smooth and canyons. The very first images of Miranda were discovered in 1986, when the Voyager 2 space probe mission was passing by Uranus, which was considered the nearest celestial body in the mission’s trajectory.
Scientists believe that the uneven and distinctive surface characteristics of Miranda have occurred probably because the surface of the moon had been destroyed earlier in a collision that occurred in the earliest system of Uranus. And later, it was reformed due to the impacts of gravitational pulls and attractions towards the giant fragments that were left behind.
14. Epimetheus and Janus – The Twin Moons
Epimetheus and Janus are celestial wonders and they orbit around Saturn. In the earliest discoveries of the Solar System and Saturn, these two moons were considered as irregular rock formations that were adjoined together as one more, and when they were finally discovered by modern science, they were considered as one body.
The most fascinating trait of these twins is their feature of co-orbital rotation, which basically means that they orbit the same path around Saturn with a 50 km distance in between. This indicates that the inner moon orbits slightly quicker around Saturn, and every four years, it meets up with its outer twin. When this happens, they have a peculiar gravitational effect that causes them to swap their positions, which causes the inner moon to become the outer moon, while the outer rolls inside.
These twin moons are present inside a shrouded, dusty ring of Saturn, which experts believe has been formed by the materials that were emitted after the meteor collisions that took place on both, Epimetheus and Janus.