Moon Neptune Naiad uses some slick choreography to avoid crashing into his close partner Thalassa when the pair orbits the ice giant, new research by NASA shows.
Two of the 14 confirmed Neptune moons, Thalassa and Naiad are only 100 km wide. Tiny Tic-Tac shaped objects orbiting only 1150 miles (1,850 km) apart but never collided.
This happens because, unlike our Moon, which only revolves around Earth, Naiad rotates around Neptune in a zig-zag-like pattern, the time is right to avoid crashing into its 'partners' Thalassa, NASA explained. Experts dub this crazy choreography a "Avoidance dance."
"There are many types of 'dances' that can be followed by planets, moons, and asteroids, but this one has never been seen before," Marina Brozovic, a researcher at the Space Agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said.
Brozovic noted that Naiad was a possibility "Kick" into its orbit which was unusual by before "interaction" with one of Neptune's other moons, after which it becomes locked in an eternal dance with Thalassa.
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