AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 36 Our Solar System Neighbors
Invited, Monday, January 5, 2004, 3:40-5:10pm, Centennial I/II

[Previous] | [Session 36] | [Next]

[36.01] Satellite Formation and the Origin of the Moon

R.M. Canup (Southwest Research Institute)

Satellite formation appears to be a natural byproduct of planet formation, given the multitude of satellites in our solar system. Two formation mechanisms are believed responsible for the majority of the large planetary satellites: impact and co-formation. Our own Moon is thought to have resulted from what was perhaps the largest impact of Earths accretion, and the so-called giant impact hypothesis is favored for its ability to explain the primary dynamical and physical attributes of the Earth-Moon system. The Galilean satellites are a key example of a satellite system that is believed to have co-formed with its parent planet, with satellites accumulating within a circumplanetary accretion disk that existed during the final stages of the planets own growth. Recent works modeling the origin of the Moon and the Jovian satellites will be discussed, as well as their implications for satellite formation in general.

Support from NASA and NSF is gratefully acknowledged.

[Previous] | [Session 36] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.