Hey Space Friends! I’m talking this week about weird moons. The oddballs of our solar system. The interplanetary moons of mystery. Who doesn’t love weird stuff!? Okay, maybe not the weird stuff your Mom gives you for Christmas… But the weird stuff in outer space is super cool! In case you haven’t been paying attention recently, there is ravioli in outer space! Yeah! There’s a piece of ravioli floating around Saturn called Pan and it’s one of the weirdest moons. Not only because it has a ravioli shape which is absolutely delicious, but because it’s also less dense than a snowball, which is quite odd. But why exactly is there a ravioli moon in space? Well, it’s because it floats above and below Saturn’s relatively paper-thin ring, chowing down on ice as it goes along. And as it chows down on this ice, kind of like a Zamboni, it accumulates it around its edge creating a weird ravioli-like shape. Despite Pan being the size of Manhattan, we only really got a tiny appetizer of it from Voyager 2 data. It originally showed up as just a pixel in Voyager 2 imagery but now we have these amazing photos of it thanks to the Cassini spacecraft. The other weird moon in our solar system is obviously Titan. Titan, you may have heard, has lakes of methane and ethane and a really thick atmosphere and it rains and it has clouds and all this cool stuff. What else could be so cool about Titan? Well, it was recently discovered that Titan has static-electric sand. Essentially electrically-charged sand that when the wind blows more than 15 miles per hour, the sand clumps together much like how putting a cat in a bunch of packing peanuts would. Please don’t put your cat in a bunch of packing peanuts. Another weird moon in our solar system is Hyperion, which is another moon of Saturn but Saturn seems to have most of the weird moons in our solar system thus far. Hyperion is the sponge moon. It looks like a sponge. Although some people say it also looks like a wasps’ nest. A moon filled with wasps is definitely my nightmare fuel for tonight. But the thing that’s weird about Hyperion is that it’s so porous that it’s more of a rubble pile than a moon. It also rotates incredibly chaotically as it orbits Saturn. All of the craters on Hyperion are also so incredibly extreme that Hyperion actually experiences landslides within its own craters while it’s tumbling out in space. Another weird moon is Iapetus which is a moon of Saturn as you may have guessed because Saturn has a monopoly on all the weird moons. Iapetus doesn’t look like a ravioli but it does look like a walnut. That or I’m getting a bit hungry. But it’s most known for its bright and dark hemispheres, sort of having a Jekyll-and-Hyde moment. It’s really bright on one side and it’s dark as coal on the other side. Iapetus is made of eighty percent ice, so this dark material is kind of strange to be finding on its surface. The dark material that collected on Iapetus’s surface is thought to come from Phoebe. Phoebe is a fairly dark moon in comparison to Iapetus and it’s thought that Phoebe maybe brushed off a bunch of its dirt and it collected on Iapetus’s surface. But since then, Iapetus has been able to maintain its Two-Face villain look by having its ice interact with a lot of different types of radiation and potentially even having ice volcanoes on its surface. These sorts of interactions actually make it so that the dark parts stay darker and the light parts stay lighter on Iapetus. But the other weird thing about Iapetus is that actually has a huge ridge across its surface, much like the forehead of a Klingon. And this ridge is actually over ten kilometers high in many places. Finally a really weird moon that not enough people talk about is Triton, which is actually a moon of Neptune. And Triton is actually larger than Pluto. It’s Neptune’s largest moon and it actually rotates in the opposite direction of Neptune. It’s thought that Triton was originally a Kuiper belt object, a binary system in fact, that Neptune stole away from its partner. Not cool, Neptune. Anyway, when Triton fell into Neptune’s embrace, it’s thought that it could perhaps have been a liquid water planet, or a liquid something planet, for a billion years thanks to the tidal heating caused by Neptune. But what’s even cooler is that Triton to this day might still have a liquid water ocean beneath its icy surface. I know it’s crazy to think about that there might actually be a subsurface ocean all the way out in our solar system as far away as Neptune, but it’s true that this is something that could be a real possibility. What’s also amazing is that Triton is geologically active. It has ice geysers and ice volcanoes, which help give it a thin atmosphere. So, those are my favorite little weird oddballs of our solar system. You may disagree with me. Actually I expect you to! But there’s a lot of weird moons in our solar system that I love learning about. My favorite, of course, is Enceladus, which I did an entirely separate video about, which you can check out. And Europa is also everyone’s fan favorite which I will no doubt do a video about at some point. That’s it for me this week, so leave a comment with what your weirdest, favorite, awkward moon is in our solar system. And remember to go to Patreon
(patreon.com/arielwaldman)
to support weird, awkward videos like this one, because I make these on my own and your support helps me continue being weird and talking about weird stuff in outer space. Until next time, Space Friends!

The 5 Weirdest Moons in 5 Minutes!
Tagged on:                                 

30 thoughts on “The 5 Weirdest Moons in 5 Minutes!

  • April 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm
    Permalink

    🙂

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm
    Permalink

    Hyperion is my favorite moon! Although it's a tough competition with all of Saturn's little odd babies. I think I'd like to visit Titan the most though.

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    Permalink

    One cool recent discovery about Titan that didn't make it into the video is that its lakes might be "fizzy", similar to when you open up a carbonated soda bottle: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6778

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    Permalink

    I was always rather partial to Deimos (for its name alone) despite it being fairly unremarkable. And, ayup, guilty of liking Europa due to its notoriety but you've now 'sparked' an interested in Titan! : )

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm
    Permalink

    Ravioli moons, enchiladas, wash it down with an ice cold glass of sparkling titan liquid… Are we completely sure that our solar system isn't just a buffet for a race of space-giants?

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    Fun video 🙂 I don't know if I could pick a favorite moon. I am partial to Io, volcanoes and all but am excited to see more data from and exploration of active icy moons like Enceladus…

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm
    Permalink

    Titan is a super cool moon but too bad it's like 70 Kelvin 🙁 I want to go there and flap around with artificial wings.

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm
    Permalink

    Not sure if they can be called moons, but i love propellers in Saturn's rings.

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    my favourite moon is The Moon. It controls our tides (and some say moods), it doesnt even spin. sadly though it seems its had enough and is leaving us… albeit very slowly

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm
    Permalink

    Iapetus: "thats no moon…"

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm
    Permalink

    it's a shame we haven't sent orbiters to Uranus and Neptune yet. Who knows what kind of weird moons and atmospheric features might be hiding there.
    Also I'm sad about Cassini, we won't be getting any cool new data about my favorite moon Titan anywhere in the near future. And I so want someone to send a rover to Titan, this moon is so interesting!

    PS. I love how weirdly geeky and fun your videos are, keep it up 🙂

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    im glad scott manly helped us find you. nice vid

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 8:14 pm
    Permalink

    You forgot about our moon. We've never seen a moon so large near a planet so small anywhere in the galaxy so far!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 10:13 pm
    Permalink

    Moooooooooooons

    Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 11:37 pm
    Permalink

    Moons are quite odd

    Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 2:30 am
    Permalink

    I have to give a shout out to Charon, which is so massive that the barycenter it and Pluto co-orbit isn't even inside Pluto, meaning we could almost call Pluto the Pluto-Charon binary dwarf planet.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm
    Permalink

    Please, add videos more frequently! Can't wait to watch them 🙂

    Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 10:00 pm
    Permalink

    Great video! Thank you!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 11:56 pm
    Permalink

    Very nice video. I'd love if you did one about Chariklo. Not a moon, but hella weird

    Reply
  • April 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm
    Permalink

    How about our own moon? Relatively the largest moon of a planet in our solar system, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2017 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    Wait… ICE VOLCANOES? WHAT?

    Reply
  • April 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    Great video! Fun and informative. Go big Ariel!!!

    Reply
  • April 20, 2017 at 5:23 pm
    Permalink

    Oooh, 4 minutes 59 seconds, nicely done 🙂

    Reply
  • June 17, 2017 at 10:32 pm
    Permalink

    Nice to see some of the underappreciated ones.

    Reply
  • January 9, 2018 at 1:27 am
    Permalink

    Great list! Our moon is pretty damn weird too. Especially size between moon and parent.

    Trying to convince my girlfriend to name our future kids after moons. I am partial to Eberon for a boy, and Miranda or Juliet for a girl. Uranus has all the best moon names (thanks Shakespeare).

    Reply
  • May 16, 2018 at 1:02 am
    Permalink

    Soo, even a tiny moon of the ringed planet has a ring of sorts, cool!

    Forehead of a Klingon, ha, ha, love that reference! 🙂

    Reply
  • August 4, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    Permalink

    The moon is owned by two aliens races knox and Corme that lost their home world because sun went super nova exploded and they went to andromeda galaxy took moon hollowed out iron magnetic core and replacement with titanium balanced out core with tunnels for civilizations and hauled from andromeda galaxy with two 1000 mile long motherships and put it earth orbit with 2000 Quantum mechinics physic faze Quantum generators that keep the moon stable in earth orbit for 2000 years

    Reply
  • August 18, 2018 at 8:28 am
    Permalink

    From 3 min 19 secs: "Triton … rotates in the opposite direction". Don't you mean "orbits in the opposite direction"?

    Reply
  • October 23, 2018 at 2:28 am
    Permalink

    Iapetus IS THE DEATH STAR……..who's with me?

    Reply
  • June 21, 2019 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    Fascinating, thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *