- List of moons
This list of moons restricts itself to the
natural satellites of planets and dwarf planets that have secured orbits. For additional moons, see asteroid moons and Trans-Neptunian moons. Satellites massive enough for their gravity to have rounded them into an ellipsoidal shape have their names in bold.
The earliest discovery of a moon other than our own was by
Galileo Galilei, who discovered the four Galilean moonsin 1610. Over the following three centuries only a few more moons were discovered. Missions to other planets in the 1970s, most notably the Voyager 1and 2 missions, saw a surge in the number of moons detected. In recent years many more new moons have been discovered, mostly by large ground-based optical telescopes. See Timeline of discovery of Solar System planets and their moonsfor more information. The list below contains all moons discovered prior to 2008.
asteroids are binary asteroids or have satellites orbiting them. These are not listed here; see List of asteroid moons.
Mercury, the innermost planet, has no moons larger than 1.6 km.cite journal | url=http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007P&SS...55.2037W | title=A search for natural satellites of Mercury | last=Warell | first=J. | coauthors=Karlsson, O. | year=2007 | journal=Planetary and Space Science | volume=55 | issue=14 | pages=2037–2041 | doi=10.1016/j.pss.2007.06.004] Note that for a brief time in 1974, Mercury was thought to have a moon; see
Venushas no moons.cite web | url=http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=Moons | title=Solar System Exploration: Planets: Venus: Moons | publisher=NASA | accessdate=2008-03-16]
Earthhas one natural satellite, the Moon. It also has at least two co-orbital satellites: the asteroids 3753 Cruithneand 2002 AA29 [cite news
title=Earth's little brother found
21 October 2002
accessdate=2007-03-31 ] ; however these do not count as moons as they do not orbit Earth.
Saturnhas some 200 known moons and moonlets, 60 with secured orbits.
Plutohas three known moons.
As of September 2008, 58
Trans-Neptunian moons had been discovered.
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