Motion of Pluto's Moons: Pandemonium
The orbits of Pluto's four smallest moons are even more chaotic than scientists had expected, according to new results from the New Horizons mission, which made a close flyby of Pluto in July.
"The way I would describe this system is not just chaos, but pandemonium," Mark Showalter, a co-investigator on the New Horizons mission, said today (Nov. 9) during a news conference at the meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. "We honestly have not seen anything like this before, and we still don't know what to make of it."
The new results show that as the four moons orbit Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, some of them are spinning incredibly fast, one is spinning backward against its orbit and some are tilted on their sides. This is in stark contrast to nearly every other moon in Earth's solar system, most of which are locked into a more rigid and unmoving orbit around their parent bodies, making Pluto's moons the wild children of the solar system. http://www.space.com/31071-plutos-moons-orbit-pandemonium-new-horizons.html