Regular moon

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In astronomy, a regular moon is a natural satellite following a relatively close and prograde orbit with little orbital inclination or eccentricity. They are believed to have formed in orbit about their primary, as opposed to irregular moons, which were captured.

There are at least 57 regular satellites of the eight planets: one at Earth, eight at Jupiter, 23 named regular moons at Saturn (not counting hundreds or thousands of moonlets), 18 known at Uranus, and 7 small regular moons at Neptune (Neptune's largest moon Triton appears to have been captured). It is thought that Pluto's five moons and Haumea's two were formed in orbit about those dwarf planets out of debris created in giant collisions.

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Double planet

In astronomy, a double planet is a binary system where both objects are planets, or planetary-mass objects, that share an orbital axis external to both planetary bodies.

Nereid (moon)

Nereid, or Neptune II, is the third-largest moon of Neptune. Of all known moons in the Solar System, it has the most eccentric orbit. It was the second moon of Neptune to be discovered, by Gerard Kuiper in 1949.

Triton (moon) Largest moon of Neptune

Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered. The discovery was made on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the direction opposite to its planet's rotation. At 2,710 kilometres (1,680 mi) in diameter, it is the seventh-largest moon in the Solar System, the only satellite of Neptune massive enough to be in hydrostatic equilibrium, the second-largest planetary moon in relation to its primary, and larger than Pluto. Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet, captured from the Kuiper belt.

Natural satellite Astronomical body that orbits a planet

A natural satellite, or moon, is, in the most common usage, an astronomical body that orbits a planet or minor planet.

Proteus (moon)

Proteus, also known as Neptune VIII, is the second-largest Neptunian moon, and Neptune's largest inner satellite. Discovered by Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989, it is named after Proteus, the shape-changing sea god of Greek mythology. Proteus orbits Neptune in a nearly equatorial orbit at the distance of about 4.75 times the radius of Neptune's equator.

Caliban (moon) moon of Uranus

Caliban is the second-largest retrograde irregular satellite of Uranus. It was discovered on 6 September 1997 by Brett J. Gladman, Philip D. Nicholson, Joseph A. Burns, and John J. Kavelaars using the 200-inch Hale telescope together with Sycorax and given the temporary designation S/1997 U 1.

Sycorax (moon) moon of Uranus

Sycorax is the largest retrograde irregular satellite of Uranus. Sycorax was discovered on 6 September 1997 by Brett J. Gladman, Philip D. Nicholson, Joseph A. Burns, and John J. Kavelaars using the 200-inch Hale telescope, together with Caliban, and given the temporary designation S/1997 U 2.

Thalassa (moon)

Thalassa, also known as Neptune IV, is the second-innermost satellite of Neptune. Thalassa was named after sea goddess Thalassa, a daughter of Aether and Hemera from Greek mythology. "Thalassa" is also the Greek word for "sea".

Moons of Jupiter The natural satellites of the planet Jupiter

There are 79 known moons of Jupiter, not counting a number of moonlets likely shed from the inner moons. The most massive of the moons are the four Galilean moons, which were independently discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and Simon Marius and were the first objects found to orbit a body that was neither Earth nor the Sun. Much more recently, beginning in 1892, dozens of far smaller Jovian moons have been detected and have received the names of lovers or daughters of the Roman god Jupiter or his Greek equivalent Zeus. The Galilean moons are by far the largest and most massive objects to orbit Jupiter, with the remaining 75 known moons and the rings together composing just 0.003% of the total orbiting mass.

Moons of Saturn Natural satellites of the planet Saturn

The moons of Saturn are numerous and diverse, ranging from tiny moonlets only tens of meters across to enormous Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury. Saturn has 82 moons with confirmed orbits that are not embedded in its rings – of which only 13 have diameters greater than 50 kilometers – as well as dense rings that contain millions of embedded moonlets and innumerable smaller ring particles. Seven Saturnian moons are large enough to have collapsed into a relaxed, ellipsoidal shape, though only one or two of those, Titan and possibly Rhea, are currently in hydrostatic equilibrium. Particularly notable among Saturn's moons are Titan, the second-largest moon in the Solar System, with a nitrogen-rich Earth-like atmosphere and a landscape featuring dry river networks and hydrocarbon lakes, Enceladus, which emits jets of gas and dust from its south-polar region, and Iapetus, with its contrasting black and white hemispheres.

Neso (moon)

Neso, also known as Neptune XIII, is the outermost known natural satellite of Neptune. It is an irregular moon discovered by Matthew J. Holman, Brett J. Gladman, et al. on August 14, 2002, though it went unnoticed until 2003. Neso orbits Neptune at a distance of more than 48 Gm, making it the most distant known moon of any planet. At apocenter, the satellite is more than 72 Gm from Neptune. This distance is great enough to exceed Mercury's aphelion, which is approximately 70 Gm from the Sun.

Moons of Uranus The natural satellites of the planet Uranus

Uranus, the seventh planet of the Solar System, has 27 known moons, most of which are named after characters that appear in, or are mentioned in, the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Uranus's moons are divided into three groups: thirteen inner moons, five major moons, and nine irregular moons. The inner and major moons all have prograde orbits, while orbits of the irregulars are mostly retrograde. The inner moons are small dark bodies that share common properties and origins with Uranus's rings. The five major moons are ellipsoidal, indicating that they reached hydrostatic equilibrium at some point in their past, and four of them show signs of internally driven processes such as canyon formation and volcanism on their surfaces. The largest of these five, Titania, is 1,578 km in diameter and the eighth-largest moon in the Solar System, about one-twentieth the mass of the Earth's Moon. The orbits of the regular moons are nearly coplanar with Uranus's equator, which is tilted 97.77° to its orbit. Uranus's irregular moons have elliptical and strongly inclined orbits at large distances from the planet.

Moons of Neptune The natural satellites of the planet Neptune

The planet Neptune has 14 known moons, which are named for minor water deities in Greek mythology. By far the largest of them is Triton, discovered by William Lassell on October 10, 1846, 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself; over a century passed before the discovery of the second natural satellite, Nereid. Neptune's outermost moon Neso, which has an orbital period of about 26 Julian years, orbits further from its planet than any other moon in the Solar System.

Irregular moon a captured satellite following an irregular orbit

In astronomy, an irregular moon, irregular satellite or irregular natural satellite is a natural satellite following a distant, inclined, and often eccentric and retrograde orbit. They have been captured by their parent planet, unlike regular satellites, which formed in orbit around them. Irregular moons have a stable orbit, unlike temporary satellites which often have similarly irregular orbits but will eventually depart. The term does not refer to shape: Triton is a round moon, but is considered irregular due to its orbit.

In astronomy, an inner moon or inner natural satellite is a natural satellite following a prograde, low-inclination orbit inwards of the large satellites of the parent planet. They are generally thought to have been formed in situ at the same time as the coalescence of the original planet. Neptune's moons are an exception, as they are likely reaggregates of the pieces of the original bodies, which were disrupted after the capture of the large moon Triton. Inner satellites are distinguished from other regular satellites by their proximity to the parent planet, their short orbital periods, their low mass, small size, and irregular shapes.

Nice model

The Nicemodel is a scenario for the dynamical evolution of the Solar System. It is named for the location of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur — where it was initially developed in 2005 — in Nice, France. It proposes the migration of the giant planets from an initial compact configuration into their present positions, long after the dissipation of the initial protoplanetary disk. In this way, it differs from earlier models of the Solar System's formation. This planetary migration is used in dynamical simulations of the Solar System to explain historical events including the Late Heavy Bombardment of the inner Solar System, the formation of the Oort cloud, and the existence of populations of small Solar System bodies such as the Kuiper belt, the Neptune and Jupiter trojans, and the numerous resonant trans-Neptunian objects dominated by Neptune.

Retrograde and prograde motion Relative directions of orbit or rotation

Retrograde motion in astronomy is, in general, orbital or rotational motion of an object in the direction opposite the rotation of its primary, that is, the central object. It may also describe other motions such as precession or nutation of an object's rotational axis. Prograde or direct motion is more normal motion in the same direction as the primary rotates. However, "retrograde" and "prograde" can also refer to an object other than the primary if so described. The direction of rotation is determined by an inertial frame of reference, such as distant fixed stars.

Hippocamp (moon)

Hippocamp, also designated Neptune XIV, is a small moon of Neptune discovered on 1 July 2013. It was found by astronomer Mark Showalter by analyzing archived Neptune photographs the Hubble Space Telescope captured between 2004 and 2009. The moon is so dim that it was not observed when the Voyager 2 space probe flew by Neptune and its moons in 1989. It is about 35 km (20 mi) in diameter, and orbits Neptune in about 23 hours, just under one Earth day. Due to its unusually close distance to Neptune's largest inner moon Proteus, it has been hypothesized that Hippocamp may have accreted from material ejected by an impact on Proteus several billion years ago. The moon was formerly known by its provisional designation S/2004 N 1 until February 2019, when it was formally named Hippocamp, after the mythological sea-horse symbolizing Poseidon in Greek mythology.

Satellite system (astronomy)

A satellite system is a set of gravitationally bound objects in orbit around a planetary mass object or minor planet, or its barycenter. Generally speaking, it is a set of natural satellites (moons), although such systems may also consist of bodies such as circumplanetary disks, ring systems, moonlets, minor-planet moons and artificial satellites any of which may themselves have satellite systems of their own. Some bodies also possess quasi-satellites that have orbits gravitationally influenced by their primary, but are generally not considered to be part of a satellite system. Satellite systems can have complex interactions including magnetic, tidal, atmospheric and orbital interactions such as orbital resonances and libration. Individually major satellite objects are designated in Roman numerals. Satellite systems are referred to either by the possessive adjectives of their primary, or less commonly by the name of their primary. Where only one satellite is known, or it is a binary orbiting a common centre of gravity, it may be referred to using the hyphenated names of the primary and major satellite.