The Moon May Have A Moon

October 11, 2018

(Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

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Scientists are exploring the possibility that moons can have their own moons orbiting around them. That, of course, leads to the obvious question, what do you call a moon orbiting another moon? One of the possibilities being tossed around is "moonmoon."

There are currently no known moonmoons that exist. That doesn't mean they aren't possible. Sean Raymond and Juna Kollmeier are two astronomers that are currently working on the paper titled "Can Moons Have Moons?" They argue that the existence of such a moon is possible given the right conditions. They have also suggested the name "submoon" be used.

Some of the other suggestions that have appeared on the interenet include: moonlet, moonito, moonette, moonlet, and grandmoon. It's not up to the authors of the study or even the interenet to determine what these planetary bodies will be called, The International Astronomical Union will have the final say.