Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is the movement of the satellites (moons) of a planet coplanar, like the planets being coplanar around the local Sun?

share|improve this question
With coplanar, do you mean the inclination? No, not necessarily; for instance the smaller jovian moon can have inclinations of >160°. See – Alexander Janssen Apr 14 '14 at 4:37
By coplanar, I mean, the orbits are on the same plane. For example, the orbits of the planets moving around the sun are coplanar – user1394 Apr 14 '14 at 13:50
Well, Mercury has an inclination of ~7° and Venus about 3.4°; if that's coplanar, then the answer is no. Especially smaller moons can have very high inclinations. – Alexander Janssen Apr 14 '14 at 15:39

Inner moon orbits tend to low inclinations with regard to planet's equatorial plane. Charon is an exception to this general rule. has a nice data base.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.