Science in a Minute 111819 Two of Neptune's Moons Dance to Avoid Collision

November 18, 2019 02:13 PM
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Science in a Minute 111819 Two of Neptune's Moons Dance to Avoid Collision
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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that two of Neptune’s close orbiting, tiny inner moons avoid smashing into each other thanks some fancy choreography. The moons Naiad and Thalassa are only 1,850 kilometers apart.  One of the moons, Naiad has a tilted orbital plane and circles Neptune in a zig zag, up and down pattern.  This unique orbit provides an additional 1,000 kilometers of additional space between the two moons each time they pass each other.