Its a question that may change at times – “Which planet has the most and largest moons in our solar system?”
On Earth, we’re familiar with the one and only Moon, which shines bright almost every night in the sky, and is sometimes observable during the day, too. But what kind of moons do the other planets have? Which one has the largest moons? Which one has the most moons based on the planet’s size?
We present three graphs to show you, the reader, which planet can take the crown as “King of the Moons”.
This is the most basic chart, showing which planets have the most moons, regardless of size. Unsurprisingly, Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, has the most moons, at a whopping 66. However, its lead is very small against Saturn, which has 61 moons. After Saturn, the list drops off rather quickly, with Uranus weighing in at a still-hefty 27 moons. Uranus is in an interesting position, as its smaller than Neptune, which has half of the number of moons that Uranus has, at 13. But Neptune does beat Uranus in other ways (more on that later).
Pluto maintains a surprising place on the charts – it has more moons than any rocky planet, that we know of. Mars also has more moons than Earth does – placing Earth in the unique position of being the lone planet with only one moon.
In this picture, we see relative mass among the various moons in our solar system. Note that the Mars examples are inflated to show that they are actually there (they should be even smaller than Pluto, on the right!)
Jupiter’s moons are, unsurprisingly, the largest in the solar system. Ganymede and Callisto are massive, with Io and Europa being noticeably smaller. Titan takes up the lion’s share of mass around Saturn – the remainder of its 60-odd moons are only a fraction of the mass of Titan.
Our moon is oddly one of the heaviest in the solar system, weighing in at about the same mass as Europa. From there, mass drops significantly, as Neptune’s moon, Triton is next in line. From Triton, masses drop significantly, as Uranus has very few sizable moons, which aren’t very large in comparison to the other gas giants, or even Earth.
Finally, Pluto and Mars round out the remaining planets with moons. Charon does not weigh much, but it is very sizable when compared to Pluto, as its approximately 11% the mass of Pluto. Mars’ two moons are the most insignificant of the bunch, as they’ve been blown up to be viewable – in reality, they weigh about 1/100th of what we’re showing to scale!