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Old December 18 2008, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: To Moon, Or Not To Moon?

Jolly old saint Q wrote: View Post
Ok, I stand corrected. Thanks. Now what about the elliptical orbit for the moon? Would it be possible for a moon to be caught, orbit it a couple times, then get pulled back out by the gravity of one of the suns? I know that doesn't happen to our moon, because it doesn't get that far away from our planet, but if it's an elliptical orbit, it might.
Are you asking if it can happen in other binaries with less separation than ZR? Such a situation isn't going to be stable. I can see an elliptically orbiting moon getting captured by a larger body but not really the other way around.

In any event, if this moon's orbit is so elliptical that it *can* be caught up, then it won't really be a moon from the standpoint of the planetary inhabitants. It'll be a planetoid that occasionally comes close to the planet.
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