NASA finds Neptune's moons engaged in dance-like movement

  • Tuesday 19, November 2019 01:11 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Thalassa and Naiad appear to be locked in an intricate 'dance of avoidance' that keep their respective orbits stable, according to NASA.
Thalassa and Naiad are described as small and tic tac and shaped, with computations of their mass and size showing the density of ice water.

Thalassa circles Neptune every seven hours and thirty minutes, while Naiad completes the circuit every seven hours, but on an orbit tilted by five degrees relative to Thalassa.

Viewed from Thalassa, Naiad appear to dance in a wave like pattern, passing twice from above and twice from below.

NASA researchers said this behavior between celestial bodies is called a resonance, but the specific pattern of these moons have never been seen before.

According to researchers, Neptune disrupted its original satellite system when it captured its giant moon, Triton.

The disruption caused Naiad to veer into a tilted orbit before it settled into the ballet-like resonance with Thalassa.