Neptune has two satellites with very unreasonable orbits

By yqqlm yqqlm

The universe is too unfriendly for astrophysicists:they just incorporated the known motion patterns of the solar system into a complete theory, and then the two satellites of Neptune jumped out, becoming an exception to the theory .

The two satellites, called Naiad and Thalassa, are about 100 kilometers in diameter and orbit the planets in strange orbits—called “avoidance” by NASA researchers. dance”.

In November 2019, NASA researchers unexpectedly noticed their unreasonable orbital path.

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Compared to Thalassa, Naiad’s orbit is tilted by about 5 degrees-it has half of the cycle above Thalassa and the other half of the cycle below Thalassa. This is a singular relationship only seen by astronomers.

“We call this repetitive pattern resonance,” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory physicist Marina Brozovic said in 2019,”Planets, moons and asteroids can dance together, different types of dances , But this has never been seen before.”

The orbits of the two small satellites are only about 1850 kilometers apart, but their timing and arrangement are perfect to avoid each other.

If you are stationed in Talassa, you will find Naiad shuttles up and down in four turns. The researchers say these actions keep the track stable.

To confirm this, the research team used a telescope on the earth from 1981 to 2016, Traveller 2 and data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

These satellites are two of the 14 satellites identified by Neptune and two of the seven so-called internal satellites. This is a very tight system intertwined with the weak Neptune ring.

According to researchers, Neptune’s Triton may explain the origins of Naiad and Thalassa, as well as unusual orbits.

In addition to delineating the orbits of Naiad and Thalassa, this new study also takes the first step in determining the composition of Neptune’s internal satellites-seemingly composed of something similar to water ice.

This study was published in Icarus.

This article is translated from sciencealert and published by the translator majer based on the Creative Commons Agreement (BY-NC).