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Moons of our Solar System
Moons of our Solar System

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Week 1: What are moons?


Meet scientists describing their fascination with moons, discuss the implications of finding life on a moon and meet Jessica, your course guide. Take a tour through the Solar System and find out how much you already know about moons.

Jess Barnes is your guide through the course. She was a PhD student when these guide videos were filmed, then became a post-doctoral researcher at The Open University with a specialist interest in water inside the Earth’s Moon, and in June 2016 moved on to a position at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Jess pops up at the start of each week to tip you off about highlights and challenges, to remind you what you’ve learned and to help you make the most of these eight weeks of scientific discovery.

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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand the nature of orbits and how the Earth’s orbit is responsible for its phases
  • understand how tidal heating occurs as a result of the Moon’s rotation and orbit
  • describe various theories to explain the Moon’s origin.