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catloaf
2010-Jan-05, 06:50 PM
hi i don't know much about math and astronomy lol but the pictures at apod are really pretty and captivate my imagination but whatever
my question is simple, i was browsing wikipedia (please don't yell at me, some stuff there is actually good lol) and noticed that the majority of known planets tend to have the smallest orbiting bodies closest to the planet while the larger ones are further out. yeah there are some exceptions like mars and i think saturn has one moon further out than titan which is smaller than titan.
anyways is there like a physical law or something which says tiny moons need to stay close to the parent and the larger moons can be farther away?
thanks in advance ^_^

AndreasJ
2010-Jan-05, 07:02 PM
hi i don't know much about math and astronomy lol but the pictures at apod are really pretty and captivate my imagination but whatever
my question is simple, i was browsing wikipedia (please don't yell at me, some stuff there is actually good lol) and noticed that the majority of known planets tend to have the smallest orbiting bodies closest to the planet while the larger ones are further out. yeah there are some exceptions like mars and i think saturn has one moon further out than titan which is smaller than titan.
anyways is there like a physical law or something which says tiny moons need to stay close to the parent and the larger moons can be farther away?
thanks in advance ^_^

You are misreading the Wikipedia pages somehow - the outermost moons of all the major planets are much, much smaller than their largest ones. Jupiter, frex, has a few small to medium moons close in, then four large ones (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), and beyond them dozens of mostly very small moons in distant orbits.

catloaf
2010-Jan-05, 07:15 PM
okay so there's some variation but it still looks to me, doctor professor, that on average smaller satellites are closer to the parent while bigger ones are further out with some exceptions
does that clarify or are you going to make me feel dumb again?

AndreasJ
2010-Jan-05, 07:28 PM
You were perfectly clear the first time - the issue is that the pattern you describe doesn't exist, and the relevant wikipedia pages don't show it.

For Jupiter and Saturn, the majority of the moons are small ones orbiting well outside the big ones. Uranus and Neptune have similar numbers of small fry outside and inside the bigger moons. Mars has only two moons, but the larger is the inner one.

ETA: And for your interest, I'm neither a professor nor a doctor.

George
2010-Jan-05, 07:29 PM
okay so there's some variation but it still looks to me, doctor professor, that on average smaller satellites are closer to the parent while bigger ones are further out with some exceptions
does that clarify or are you going to make me feel dumb again? You might want to show us the Wiki page that causes you to think that way, especially when someone helpful sees it differently.

Here are the Wiki Moons of Jupiter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moons_of_Jupiter) and I see nothing here that supports your claim.

Centaur
2010-Jan-06, 04:53 AM
Welcome to the discussion group, catloaf.

AndreasJ provided an absolutely correct answer in his kind attempt to be helpful to you. You might want to thank him properly.

JustAFriend
2010-Jan-06, 08:40 PM
Just because you see a couple of examples in ONE solar system, dont get antsy to make a law out of it.

If you walk into a bakery and notice that the baker in that shop put the nuts on the cookies a particular way it doesn't mean that all the other shop do the same or are required to....

astromark
2010-Jan-07, 06:25 PM
To establish a stable orbital history, IE; Not to be consumed by the parent star or planet to be thrown out of the system completely rules of momentum, / verses mass / need to be understood. The rules do not altar. call it the process of coalescing mater in a gravity field. Velocity of mater and the mass of it are all part of a very flexible recipe... To have a sustainable orbital history and thus stability the perimeters can not be broken. You have not chanced across a rule previously unseen... Its not so., and we do not all see things as so simple. While you look at the buns at the bakery. Notice that no two are the same.

mark in a fine and warm Wanganui.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-08, 10:15 PM
okay so there's some variation but it still looks to me, doctor professor, that on average smaller satellites are closer to the parent while bigger ones are further out with some exceptions
does that clarify or are you going to make me feel dumb again?

Catloaf. Welcome to BAUT, please take some time to read the rules for posting to the board linked at the bottom of this post.
Posting a reply like the one above to someone who has given you a valid 'Mainstream' Astronomy answer to your question is not on.