The multitude of moons orbiting the planets of our solar system represent the incredible diversity of heavenly bodies that inhabit this tiny corner of the universe. Satellites that call this cosmic neighborhood home come in all iterations, from oblong, dented, and lumpy, to marble-smooth, multi-cratered, and pock-marked.
It's tough to wrap one's head around such variations in size, shape, and surface features without rolling them all out and comparing them to the scale of some of Earth's greatest monuments and skylines.
To assist with these observations, the inquisitive folks at MetaBallStudios have created an informative new video that drops an eclectic assortment of famous and not-so-famous moons onto Earth to see how they all would appear if they suddenly plopped onto our planet.
Take a peek at Saturn's diminutive Aegaeon, Mars' massive rock named Deimos, the round globe of Saturn's Charon, and Jupiter's epic sphere Europa as they all crowd onto our crust to provide a convenient way to size them all up. Oh, and Earth's favorite sphere rounds out the bunch as well.
Seen from this perspective, it's startling to see just how tiny some of the moons look when put into a familiar environment. According to the most current data from NASA, there are 214 identifiable moons floating around in the solar system, which represents 158 confirmed moons and 56 provisional moons, those we theorize might be out there or have spotted but have not yet confirmed.
And the wealth of spinning companions isn't what one could call equitable no matter how you slice it, with the gas giant Jupiter taking the lion's share with a total of 79, 26 of which are awaiting official names, down to poor Mercury without a single moon to call its own.
Anyone for giving our beautiful pale moon a proper moniker?