Perhaps there are some people out there that have been wondering ‘what if the moon had its own moon?’. Granted, most kids have probably thought of this. Well, according to a study published on Tuesday it seems that it is definitely possible for a bigger moon to have its own moon.
Juna Kollmeier (or The Junaverse) from the Carnegie Institution of Washington spoke with Huffington Post and she said that while right now there aren’t any ‘moonmoons’ that orbit around the moons of the planets inside our solar system, it could be that long ago “Earth’s moon, one of Jupiter’s moons and two of Saturn’s moons” may have had moons.
Of course, the obvious question would be: how would you call a moon’s moon? Kollmeier and astronomer Sean Raymond opted to call them ‘submoons’ in their published study. However, the New Scientist decided to call them ‘moonmoons’. Kollmeier stated that ‘moonlets’ and ‘moons-of-moons’ have also been taken into consideration, although the final say will be had by the International Astronomical Union.
Kollmeier said that “The internet is having a blast with the name which is A) totally unexpected, and B) super fun! People need a little fun. I am not casting my vote before consulting with my son Levi. He was the inspiration for the work and if he likes moonmoon or moonito or whatever, I have to back it!”
So far, what this pair of scientists managed to discover has only scratched the surface. Kollmeier hopes that their work will act as inspiration for both little and big kids alike as they will search more about ‘submoons’. She concluded that “I’m super excited about this – by doing calculations of possible submoon trajectories and comparing known architectures, we may learn a lot more about the solar system which is fantastic”.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here