(Submitted February 18, 1998)
The Earth's moon orbits the earth with one side always facing the Earth.
Do other moons orbit their respective planets in the same manner?
Most of the satellites in the solar system rotate synchronously like our
moon (see http://www.seds.org/nineplanets/nineplanets/luna.html).
An example of one that doesn't is Saturn's moon Hyperion. Its rotation is
actually chaotic. You can find out more about it at
which is a table of
orbital and rotation periods, among other things.
Damian Audley and John Cannizzo
for Ask an Astrophysicist
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