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Weird Orbital Behaviors Offer Clues to the Origins of Pluto's Moons
smithsonianmag. ^ | June 3, 2015 1:00PM | Jay Bennett

Posted on 06/03/2015 3:29:55 PM PDT by BenLurkin

The dwarf planet Pluto and its system of five moons are about as mysterious as the underworld of antiquity that inspired their names.

...

“We are still baffled by how the system formed,” says study co-author Mark Showalter, a senior research scientist at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. “I think everyone believes that, at some point in the distant past, a large object bashed into ‘proto-Pluto’ and the moons formed out of the debris cloud. However, after that point in the story, details get very sketchy.”

Now, analysis of data collected from the Hubble Space Telescope following the discoveries of Kerberos and Styx suggests that Styx is locked into an orbital resonance with Nix and Hydra, supporting the impact theory. Orbital resonance is when multiple bodies exert regular, periodic gravitational influence on each other so that they complete their orbits in a predictable pattern. The best known example is the Laplace resonance of Jupiter’s three moons, Io, Europa and Ganymede, which have an orbital resonance of 1:2:4. This means that Io orbits Jupiter four times for every one of Ganymede’s rotations, while Europa orbits twice in that same time.

Mathematical models by Showalter show that the resonances of all five Pluto moons could have been locked into a 1:3:4:5:6 relationship after the Charon-forming impact, very close to the current ratio of orbital periods for Pluto’s moons. This theory also explains the remaining resonance of Styx, Nix and Hydra. But there is a complicating factor: The other bodies in the Pluto system inject chaos into those moons’ otherwise stable configuration.

Styx, Nix and Hydra appear to be locked in resonance most of the time, but Nix and Hydra are periodically thrown into chaos, and it's been difficult to pinoint the cause.

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; europa; ganymede; hydra; io; jupiter; kerberos; laplaceresonance; markshowalter; nix; pluto; setiinstitute; styx; tomvanflandern; tvf; vanflandern; xplanets

A 2012 Hubble image captures Pluto with its five known moons. (NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute))
1 posted on 06/03/2015 3:29:55 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qybUFnY7Y8w


2 posted on 06/03/2015 3:40:53 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: BenLurkin

I saw the first three words of the headline, (Weird Orbital Behaviors) thought it was another story about Hillary’s floundering campaign.


3 posted on 06/03/2015 3:45:24 PM PDT by lee martell (The sa)
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To: BenLurkin

Maybe we can travel back in time to watch it.

Oh wait, that’s pretty much impossible.

There’s those that say we could travel to the future. No, it’s called getting up to relativistic speed, then coming back a few years later ship’s time. That’s “traveling to the future,” in the most loose sense of the saying.


4 posted on 06/03/2015 4:03:01 PM PDT by wastedyears (Knights of Sidonia)
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5 posted on 06/03/2015 4:23:52 PM PDT by RedMDer (Keep Free Republic Alive with YOUR Donations!)
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To: lee martell

It’s got me baffled. Baffled I tell you. How about you, are you baffled?


6 posted on 06/03/2015 4:45:12 PM PDT by jmacusa (`)
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To: BenLurkin; SunkenCiv
Nix

It's nice that they named a moon after her.

I'm so silly

7 posted on 06/03/2015 6:19:28 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro
Stevie Nicks Sisters Of The Moon
8 posted on 06/03/2015 6:29:17 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: BenLurkin

They’re not “weird”: they’re “ellipsoidally-challenged”.


9 posted on 06/03/2015 6:44:37 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat/RINO Party!)
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To: martin_fierro

Okay, now you get a picture of her moon.....http://o.onionstatic.com/images/8/8384/original/700.hq.jpg?3958


10 posted on 06/03/2015 6:52:10 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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The origin of Pluto
J. R. Dormand & M. Woolfson
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1980MNRAS.193..171D

The Neptune-Triton-Pluto system
http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~ewilcots/courses/astro340s04/readings/triton.ps

The Satellites Of Neptune And The Origin Of Pluto
R. S. Harrington And T. C. van Flandern
http://saturniancosmology.org/files/.cdrom/journals/kronos/vol0502/048pluto.htm

The Original Solar System
Tom Van Flandern
http://metaresearch.org/solar%20system/origins/original-solar-system.asp


11 posted on 06/04/2015 12:35:56 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (What do we want? REGIME CHANGE! When do we want it? NOW!)
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To: 75thOVI; Abathar; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...
Obviously the probe should check for gold dust. And women. Thanks martin_fierro.

12 posted on 06/04/2015 12:37:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (What do we want? REGIME CHANGE! When do we want it? NOW!)
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To: martin_fierro; KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...
Obviously the probe should check for gold dust. And women. Thanks martin_fierro.
 
X-Planets
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13 posted on 06/04/2015 12:37:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (What do we want? REGIME CHANGE! When do we want it? NOW!)
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To: martin_fierro
You forgot:


14 posted on 06/05/2015 4:35:22 AM PDT by GreenLanternCorps (Hi! I'm the Dread Pirate Roberts! (TM) Ask about franchise opportunities in your area.)
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