Is Phoebe a Planet?
Remember all the things a planet has to be? It has to: orbit a star, be spherical, not be a star itself, and have cleared its orbit of debris. Could Saturn’s moon Phoebe be a planet? Let’s count the ways (it isn’t).
Amazing But True!
- Astronomers aren’t really suggesting that Phoebe is a planet, but it’s not like Saturn’s other moons either.
- Scientists have reconstructed its impact history and determined that its shape was nearly spherical.
- Phoebe is one of more than 60 moons of Saturn.
Can You Apply It?
With the links below, learn more about Saturn’s moon, Phoebe. Then answer the following questions..
- ScienceCasts, Don’t Judge a Moon by its Cover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Legh0kL9YU4
- What are the reasons that Phoebe is not a planet?
- How is Phoebe not like the other moons of Saturn?
- How could Phoebe have been nearly spherical in the beginning?
- Where do scientists think Phoebe originated and why?
- How did Phoebe become a moon of Saturn?
- Do you think that the other moons of Saturn have a similar history to Phoebe’s? Why or why not?