Alien Moons

The Universe
Season 2
18 episodes
See below for purchasing options
DVD & Blu-ray
"The Universe" episode no. 19 (season 2)
  • written and produced by Geoff Miller
  • directed by Louis C. Tarrantino
  • edited by Tom Ronca
  • science consultants Michael Mendillo & Jeff Moore

  • narrated by Erik Thompson
  • Original Music by Eric Amdahl
  • Flight 33 Productions, (c) 2008 A & E TV Networks
  • 1 documentary @ 44 minutes

Data Capsule Review

by Martin Izsak

This episode is a welcome celebration of the diversity of conditions discovered on many of the moons populating our solar system, highlighting some interesting worlds that rarely get discussed. Many of the scientists who made unique discoveries about these moons, including their existence, are interviewed for the program. In the end, this is one of the best episodes of the second season of "The Universe."

Moons explored include:

  • Phobos and Deimos (orbiting Mars)
  • Io, Europa, and Ganymede (orbiting Jupiter)
  • Enceladus and Phoebe (orbiting Saturn)
  • Triton (orbiting Neptune)

Topics discussed include:

  • The recent discovery of Phoebe - a new, irregular moon
    orbiting Saturn.
  • The New Horizon spacecraft taking photos of Io and Europa in February 2007, on its way to Pluto. Many actual images are included in the show.
  • Ganymede's ability to have its own magnetic field.
  • How water geysers can neutralize a planet's ionosphere...
    as Enceladus is doing to Saturn, and
    as the 1973 Skylab launch did to Earth.
  • The Barry Center, or center of gravity between two paired objects.
  • Triton disrupting Neptune's chance at a regular moon system.

from the disc sleeve:

Alien Moons:
From the inner solar system to the Kuiper Belt, explore the moons of our solar system's surrounding planets. Cutting-edge computer graphics bring the universe down to earth and help us imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in these alien atmospheres.

Chapter Breakdown:

  1. Introduction
  2. Many Moons (Phoebe, and
    how Mars will lose Phobos and Deimos)
  3. Jupiter: Moon Magnet (and Io's Volcano Nebula)
  4. Icy and Molten Moons (Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus)
  5. Irregular Moons (more from Phoebe, Triton plugged)
  6. Variety of the Solar System (Triton in depth)

Participants include:

Jeff Moore

NASA Ames Research Center

Michael Mendillo

Boston University

photographed and discovered the origins of a huge sodium nebula around Jupiter created by Io's volcanoes.

Tom Duxbury

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

member of the Mariner 9 Mission that first photographed the two moons of Mars - Phobos and Deimos - in 1971.

Dr. Brett Gladman

University of British Columbia

discovered 17 new solar system objects, including his first moon in 1997 at Palomar observatory.

Dr. Amanda Hendrix

Planetary Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Robert Pappalardo

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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The Universe
Season 2 Box Set
18 episodes




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Read the data capsule review for another episode: "Astrobiology"

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