Segments in this Video

Moons of the Universe (09:13)


Astronomical telescopes reveal many more than the 34 moons thought to exist. Demonstrations show how moons fall into the gravitational pull of parent planets.

Moons of Jupiter: Io (04:45)

Jupiter is a moon magnet. Its powerful gravitational pull attracts fragments that coalesce into moons. Io's surface is scattered with glowing lava. The massive gravity of Jupiter causes friction at the inner core of Io.

Solar Nebula (04:58)

Gas from Io creates a massive solar cloud. The cloud is the largest visible cloud of gas that is permanently in the solar system. A nebula, an interstellar cloud of dust, is seen clearly with digital cameras.

Moons of Jupiter: Europa (05:08)

Europa is unlike anything else in the universe. Could this alien moon be home to alien life forms? Europa is covered in ice. Water rises to the surface from the interior. Future explorers will try to find a way to dip into Europa's ocean.

Moons of Jupiter: Ganymede (02:08)

Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system with its own magnetic field. The source of Ganymede's heat is a mystery.

Saturn's Icy Moon (03:24)

Saturn's moon Enceladus may be one of the most likely places in the solar system to have life. The moon spits plumes of icy water into the atmosphere of Saturn. Irregular moons are captured, made up of solar debris.

Irregular Moons (05:18)

Irregular moons rotate in the opposite direction of the parent planet. Misshapen, sometimes looking like flying potatoes, they follow elongated orbits. Digital photography and the use of light-sensitive optics changed the lunar terrain within a decade.

Where Do Irregular Moons Come From? (03:34)

Scientists theorize how irregular moons lost their independence and became trapped in the gravitational pull of planets.

Neptune's Irregular Moon: Triton (05:39)

Jupiter's Triton moon rotates in a retrograde fashion to Jupiter's rotation. Triton is covered in mountains, fault lines, and fissures. Geysers periodically erupt from the moon's surface. The Kuiper Belt is a disk-shaped region past the orbit of Neptune.

Credits: Alien Moons (00:28)

Credits: Alien Moons

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Alien Moons

Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



From the inner solar system to the Kuiper Belt, this program explore the moons of the Solar System’s surrounding planets. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe.

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL43134

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.