Saturn’s Moons Orbit So Close They’ve Learned To Switch Orbits So They Don’t Collide!

Saturn’s Moons Orbit So Close They’ve Learned To Switch Orbits So They Don’t Collide!

The moons of Saturn have a co-orbital ability to switch orbit every four years despite how close they are to each other.

The moons go by the name of Epimetheus and Janus and are less than 32 miles apart from each other.

Because they are so close to each other, they have learned to bounce each other back once they have caught up to one another.

When the inner moon is about to catch up to the outer moon, the gravitational factor boosts the momentum and then the distance of one is decreased while the other is increased. This is the process that happens every four years.

This orbit pattern was observed and confirmed by the launch of Voyager 1 that was launched in 1977 but the moon Epimetheus didn’t receive it’s name until 1983 as well as the name Janus, which had the be approved by the International Astronomical Union.

(Source)

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