Neptune's Moon Naiad uses some subtle choreographic moves to avoid colliding with his close partner Thalassa as the pair closely surrounds the ice giant, NASA's new research shows.
Two moons confirmed by Neptune's 14, Thalassa and Naiad, are only 100 km wide. The tiny tic-tac-shaped objects circle only 1,850 km apart, but never collide.
This is because Naiad, unlike our moon just orbiting the Earth, perfectly twirls Neptune in a zig-zag pattern. NASA said it was timed to avoid a collision with its "partner" Thalassa , Experts have called this crazy choreography a "dance of avoidance".
"There are many different types of" dances "that can follow planets, moons and asteroids, but this one has never been seen before. " Marina Brozovic, a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the Space Agency, said.
Brozovic noted that Naiad was probably "kicked" in his unusual orbit through an earlier "interaction" with one of the other moons of Neptune, after which he entered into an eternal dance was involved with Thalassa.
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