Planets & Moons Orbit: Earth, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, etc.

In summary, the planets Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto all have moons and rings that revolve around their equators, regardless of the planets' axis. However, Earth's moon experiences a shift in its ascending and descending nodes during the saros, which raises questions about its revolutionary path being perpendicular to Earth's axis. This seems contradictory to the behavior of other moons and rings. The possibility of a planet with no axis having a moon that revolves on an axis is also raised, as well as the idea of moons and rings revolving at eccentric angles due to gravitational forces. The Moon's orbit is significantly further from Earth compared to other major moons in the solar system, making it more susceptible to perturbations from the Sun
  • #1
Super**Nova
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Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, etc.--each of them has either moons or rings. Both rings and moons revolve around their equators regardless of the planets' axis. What concerns me is that while Earth's moon also revolves around the axis of Earth, why is it that during the saros, the moon has gradually switched ascending and descending nodes? Doesn't the moon's revolutionary path become perpendicular to Earth's axis instead of parallel with it? It seems very contradictory to any other moon or ring.

Given that, what I want to know, is it possible for a perfectly upright planet with no axis to have a moon that revolves on an axis anyway? Or, moons that don't necessarily revolve evenly along a planet's equator, above or below it? I mean, if you look at Pluto, it revolves around the sun on an axis, whereas the other planets revolve along the sun's center. Can the same apply to moons or rings? Would that be possible if the planet grabbed materials in its gravitational field at an angle, formed a moon that way, and it just happens to revolve at the eccentric angle the planet grabbed it from?
 
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  • #2
The Moon's orbit is about 1/3 of the way to the edge of Earth's Hill sphere. This is very far compared to the other major moons in the solar system. Consequently, the perturbation on the Moon by the Sun is quite strong. But the giant planets also have a vast collection of small moons that orbit 1/3 of the way or more to the edge of their planet's Hill sphere. The Sun stronly perturbs them too. They are not bound to their planet's equator, but orbit in a wide range of inclinations.
 

Related to Planets & Moons Orbit: Earth, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, etc.

1. How many planets orbit the Earth?

There is only one planet that orbits the Earth, and that is the Moon. Other objects, such as artificial satellites, also orbit the Earth.

2. What is the order of the planets in our solar system?

The order of the planets in our solar system, starting from the closest to the Sun, is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and then Pluto.

3. How does the orbit of Uranus differ from the orbits of the other planets?

The orbit of Uranus is unique compared to the other planets because it is tilted on its side, meaning it rotates on its side rather than upright. It also has a highly elliptical orbit, which causes it to be closer and farther from the Sun throughout its orbit.

4. Why is Pluto no longer considered a planet?

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the definition of a planet, which states that a planet must have three criteria: it must orbit the Sun, have enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, and have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit of any other objects. Pluto did not meet the third criteria, as it shares its orbit with other objects in the Kuiper Belt, so it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.

5. Do all moons orbit their planets in the same direction?

No, not all moons orbit their planets in the same direction. Most moons in our solar system orbit their planets in the same direction as the planet's rotation, but some moons have retrograde orbits, meaning they orbit in the opposite direction. For example, Jupiter's moon, Io, has a retrograde orbit.

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