Moons of our Solar System
Moons of our Solar System

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Moons of our Solar System


This course was written by David Rothery and Simon Kelley. Further contributions were made by Susanne Schwenzer, Jessica Barnes, Jean-David Bodénan, Catherine Hill, James Mortimer, Elena Nickson, Phillipa Smith, Beth Steer and Felicity Williams.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated in the acknowledgements section, this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons Licence). Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this course:

Course image


Figure 1, 17, 28, 38, 40, 42, 43 Image courtesy of NASA

Figure 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 © The Open University

Figure 12 Image courtesy of ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Figure 13 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/ DLR (German Aerospace Center)

Figure 14 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Figure 15 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI/ESA

Figure 16 Image courtesy of Cassini Imaging Team/SSI/JPL/ESA/NASA

Figure 18, 45 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI

Figure 19 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Figure 20, 21, 22, 23, 44 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Figure 24, 36, 37, 39, 46 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL

Figure 25, 47 Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/USGS

Figure 29 Image courtesy of NASA/LRC

Figure 30 Image courtesy of USGS

Figure 41 Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL/MISR Team

Figure 54 Image courtesy of JAXA/NHK/SELENE


Week 2 guide © The Open University

Ice and Ganymede © The Open University (some materials by courtesy of NASA)

Icy moons © The Open University (some materials by courtesy of NASA)

Naming moons © The Open University (some materials by courtesy of NASA)

Our Moon and its craters © The Open University (some materials courtesy of NASA)

How impact craters form © The Open University (some materials by courtesy of NASA)

Gene Shoemaker at Meteor Crater © The Open University

Making an impact © The Open University (some materials by courtesy of NASA)

Impact mechanics © The Open University

One ‘big’ impact Courtesy of Science @ NASA

Every effort has been made to contact copyright owners. If any have been inadvertently overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at the first opportunity.

Don’t miss out:

1. Join over 200,000 students, currently studying with The Open University – choose/ ou/ open-content

2. Enjoyed this? Find out more about this topic or browse all our free course materials on OpenLearn – openlearn/

3. Outside the UK? We have students in over a hundred countries studying online qualifications – – including an MBA at our triple accredited Business School.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus