The beauty and mysteries of the moon have always fascinated humanity. There are many natural satellites in the vastness of the universe, some with rocky surfaces, others with oceanic mantle or covered in ice, like our moon, but one strange category has remained conspicuously absent from our cosmic neighborhood: fizzy moons.

Are we lucky in the universe’s lottery, or is there a fundamental reason for this scarcity?

The most important moons in our solar system are rocky moons, oceanic moons like Europa and Enceladus, and icy moons like Triton. But gas moons are hardly present in this program.

Although there are no gaseous moons in our solar system, astronomers’ watchful eyes have detected two possible gaseous echoes outside our celestial neighborhood. These gas giants are unique because they orbit other gas giants, further adding to the mystery of their origins.

To understand the scarcity of gaseous moons in our solar system, we must first focus on the formation of gas giants.

Formation of gas giants

To understand the scarcity of gaseous moons in our solar system, we must first focus. The formation of gas giants can occur through two main mechanisms: “bottom-up” and “top-down”.

Bottom-up education

Rising formation, This phenomenon, also known as “core accretion,” played a crucial role in the formation of the gas giants that make up our solar system.. Thousands of years ago, our Sun was surrounded by a rotating disk of gas and dust. Amid this turbulent flow, masses of rock gradually accumulated, increasing in size as debris accumulated.

Some reached gigantic sizes rivaling those of Jupiter. These massive bodies eventually accumulated enough gravity to pull and retain significant amounts of gas from the surrounding proto-planetary disk.

The exact size they reached depended on the gravitational force and the gas available. This process brought us the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as well as the ice giants Uranus and Neptune.

Saturn's moon Titan is the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere.

Top-down education

In contrast, the “top-down” model Gas giants are formed as a result of the direct collapse of gas clouds, similar to the birth of stars.. But there’s a problem: This process has a minimum mass limit, known as the “opacity limit for fragmentation.”

As a gas cloud contracts under its own gravitational force, it heats up. But hot gas naturally expands, so it must radiate heat in order to continue contracting.

This heat dissipation is crucial for the cloud to continue collapsing. But as the cloud shrinks, its dust becomes denser and opaque, making heat dissipation less efficient. As a result, the process becomes ineffective for objects smaller than about three times the mass of Jupiter.

The elusive gaseous moon

The formation processes described above have consequences for the formation of moons in our solar system. Most of the moons in our cosmic backyard arose through a bottom-up process of core accretionbut most of the available materials had already been exhausted, leaving little left for the formation of the moon.

Exomoon candidate Kepler-1625b-i, the planet it orbits and the star at the center of the star system.

Additionally, the top-down approach could not be applied because there was not enough gas to form a significant moon. But there are some celestial oddities.

For example, Earth’s moon is probably Formed from debris ejected during a massive collision with a Mars-sized protoplanet. However, this mechanism will not be sufficient for the formation of gaseous satellites.

I always stay up to date on cosmic curiosities at TecMundo. If you wish, take the opportunity to find out whether a star is a planet or not.

Source: Tec Mundo

Previous articleIn Colombia, the minimum wage will increase by 12.07%; It will be 1,300,000 pesos in 2024
Next articleWatch the first clip of the third season of the series “What Happens If…?”
I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here