Saturn’s Moons Janus and Epimethius at closest approach. They are the only known bodies in the universe to “trade” orbits – regularly switching which is closer to Saturn.


Saturn’s Moons Janus and Epimethius at closest method. They are the only known bodies in the universe to “trade” orbits – regularly switching which is closer to Saturn.

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3 Comments

  1. Space is so fucking cool. There’s no way I could describe the weirdness of these orbits in the title in full, so I hope I gave an okay short description. The gist is that, during close encounters like the one pictured here, their mutual gravity causes the inner body to be pushed forward into a higher orbit and the outer body to be pulled back into a lower orbit. If you want to see the details (trust me, you do) check out [The Planetary Society’s page on their orbit](http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2006/janus-epimetheus-swap.html), or the [Wikipedia page on Janus](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus_(moon)).

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