Talk:Minor-planet moon

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Numbers of moons[edit]

The numbers of moons should be updated frequently. The reference web page appears to be updated regularly. (talk) 12:03, 17 December 2011 (UTC)


"An example of a binary asteroid is 90 Antiope, where two equal-sized components orbit each other's centre of gravity." Surely this should be "their common centre of gravity"? Acanon 12:37, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It should be and it now is. In future you should just make changes like that unless you're really unsure about it (in which case I don't think you'd have said "surely"). Be bold in editing. Rory 12:45, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)


Is there an official ruling from the IAU we can look up on the moonlet nomenclature? As best I can tell, the usage is arabic numerals for temporary designations (e.g. S/2002 (121) 1) but roman numerals for permanent designations (e.g. (87) Sylvia I Romulus). Urhixidur 23:28, 2005 September 1 (UTC)

An example is IAUC 6082, announcing (243) Ida I Dactyl's naming. Urhixidur 23:44, 2005 September 1 (UTC)

Also IAUC 8177, announcing (22) Kalliope I Linus' naming, and IAUC 7503, announcing (45) Eugenia I Petit-Prince's naming. Urhixidur 00:04, 2005 September 2 (UTC)

Speaking on the topic of moons.........[edit]

As we are on the subject of moons (in general), does anyone know of any Extrasolar moons? Any information will be helpful on this subjext as I have not yet heard of any "real case" of an extrasolar moon.

I suggest you move this question to Extrasolar planet, as that is where any extrasolar moons would be. And when you do, please sign your post. Jonathunder 19:30, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
You can sign by typing 4 tildes (~) after your post. To answer your question, no extrasolar moons are known, although no doubt some of the planets known do have moons. CFLeon 21:59, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Previous Claims[edit]

I rephrased the sentence about discovery; Dactyl was the 1st asteroid moon CONFIRMED. Something needs to be said about the Herculina occultation (and others) in the '80s. CFLeon 07:56, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I rewrote the history and included the Herculina report; offhand I don't recall the particular asteroids those other early claims involved. (When I'm online, I do not have access to my print sources.) My phrasing is rather clumsy, though- if anyone can rephrase this better, please have a go at it. CFLeon 21:59, 13 May 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand what is "notable" about most of the moons listed -- it seems to duplicate the Main Belt list down to 1509 Esclangona, with a few random additions thereafter. I suggest emending it as follows, to include just named moons and those with their own articles:

Name of primary Orbital type Diameter of primary (km)
(or dimensions)
Name of moon Diameter of moon (km)
(or dimensions)
Distance between pair (km)
22 Kalliope main belt (215×180×150) Linus 30-45 1,065±8
45 Eugenia main belt 214.6±4.2 Petit-Prince 12.7±0.8 1,184±12
87 Sylvia main belt (384×264×232) Remus 7±2 706±5
Romulus 18±4 1,356±5
243 Ida main belt (59.8×25.4×18.6) Dactyl (1.6×1.4×1.2) 108
617 Patroclus Jupiter trojan 121.8 ± 3.2 Menoetius 112.6 ± 3.2 685 ± 40
58534 Logos cubewano 80 Zoe 66 8,010 ± 80
134340 Pluto plutino 2306±20 Charon 1207±3 19,571±4
Nix 44-130 48,675±120
Hydra 44-130 64,780±90
136199 Eris SDO 2,800 Dysnomia 300-400 30,000-36,000
1998 WW31 cubewano 133 ± 15 S/2000 (1998 WW31) 1 110 ± 12 22,300 ± 800
Sounds reasonable, list of asteroid moons is more complete, anyway. While we're on the topic I have two comments
  1. The list seems to include Trans-Neptunian moons. Is this what we want? There seems to be disagreement over whether "asteroid" refers only to bodies out to about Jupiter, or to all "small solar system bodies".
  2. A systematic criterion would be to include all moons above a certain size cutoff, plus any others who have their own article (hence presumably being more "notable" than others of similar size). For example, 10km diameter for bodies within the orbit of Jupiter and Trojans, and 100 km for TNOs.
Deuar 13:20, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the name of the article could be changed to something other than "asteroid". I don't know what the correct terminology would be; in the past I've used "minor planet", but this usage seems to be deprecated, at least in Wikipedia. But some term ought to include main belt asteroids, KBOs, Centaurs, Trojans, etc. (but not comets or meteors).RandomCritic 13:44, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
On checking, I see that Wikipedia's "List of Asteroids" includes all bodies numbered by the MPC (including 1, 134340, and 136199). So perhaps "asteroids" is all right. RandomCritic 13:46, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure that verifying the name by way of the title of another Wikipedia article is the best way to go. Furthermore, isn't it stretching things a bit to label Pluto and Eris as asteroids? I'm thinking that - unless we can get some official confirmation of this - we should avoid making what appeears to be an arbitrary designation. --Ckatzchatspy 08:10, 26 September 2006 (UTC) (definitely not one of the "Plutonuts")
Okay, I filled up the table according to your criteria, except that I used a 150km cutoff for TNOs -- otherwise the table would have been overburdened by TNO moons.RandomCritic 14:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, I see your point about overburdening. Your original smaller table above was more pleasing visually. Maybe we should purge it further, making the cutoff 200 km? Or maybe we should put a dividing line before the first TNO to give it a bit of structure? Deuar 15:24, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I removed some of the moons under 200km. Now the two parts of the table are about the same size.RandomCritic 18:52, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Bear with me, I just discovered this article. I find the topic interesting and to be extended. I’m not comfortable with the term asteroid implied to the TNO (can you imagine if one of the "Pluto as planet" fan will do if he finds Pluto here?). Minor Planet Center assigns numbers not only to the asteroids, of course. Again, I feel putting together all small binary objects together is right. Just the title is not. Eurocommuter 22:51, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems Solar System Binaries is the fashionable term for 2006. TNB stands for trans-Neptunian Binaries. Binary does not need to have the baricenter outside the primary i.e. the term applies for small satellite orbiting much bigger object as well. Further, among TNO terms close/distant binary are also used. Among asteroids ‘distant’ are probably seriously doomed (not known?). Eurocommuter 23:28, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


I intended to start an article about binary objects in the Solar system when I discovered this one. I’ve drafted a few sections in assumption that we can find consensus to change the title (my preference) to include non-asteroids, as the the table already does (see the comments above). Alternatively, we could have separate articles on binary asteroids and binary TNO and the new content can be moved there. Eurocommuter 09:08, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, TNOs aren't asteroids and they shouldn't be treated like them. --Perfection 21:12, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Title definitely doesn't work. It would be nice to keep all the minor bodies with moons together, though. And don't forget Orcus's moon. kwami 01:23, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Scope (again)[edit]

More than a year later after the comments above, I’d like to suggest (again) splitting the asteroids and TNOs binaries (TNB). My main reasons:

  • there is a growing literature for the TNBs, an excellent source for a separate article
  • the significance of the binaries for TNOs is crucial for the physical properties (less so for the established asteroids’ science)
  • TNB have a distinct set of researchers and scientific articles (and to some extend, I believe, somehow different sets Wikipedia editors and readers).
  • the models of origin, physical characteristics, orbits etc are quite different for TNB and binary asteroids
  • the title of this article is at odds with the term binary (triple, multiple) used exclusively in the TNO literature.
  • we do have (rightly, of course) separate articles on TNOs, main-belt asteroids and Centaurs. We could afford one for TNBs.

As Wikipedia already has binary asteroid in addition to this article, I did not want to add to the confusion by creating binary trans-Neptunian object without some support. On the other hand, adding substantial TNB-related content to this article would imbalance it completely IMO. Eurocommuter (talk) 13:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)


This article overlaps (indeed, swallows) List of minor planet moons, and should be merged with it, I think. Serendipodous 10:03, 5 June 2009 (UTC)



"Minor planet moon" does not seem to be a set term that would warrant overriding normal English punctuation and the MOS. There are zero hits at GScholar, for example, and most (maybe all?) of the few hits on GBooks are WP mirrors. Any reason not to punctuate it properly as "minor-planet moon"? — kwami (talk) 23:02, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


Asteroid moon is a rather different animal than trans-Neptunian moon. People aren't normally thinking of Charon. Split the article? — kwami (talk) 22:38, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Different in what way exactly? --JorisvS (talk) 16:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
The original topic of interest for this article was asteroid moons. You can see that throughout the top half of the page: we have photos of the moons of Ida and Pulcova, and in the history section we don't even mention Charon, despite it being the first MP moon discovered. This reads as an article on asteroid moons, with "BTW, TNOs are also MPs" tacked on here and there so we could rename the article. — kwami (talk) 18:48, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Granted, the article needs work. But what is the added value of having separate articles on asteroid moons and trans-Neptunian moons? --JorisvS (talk) 22:35, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Do we even need an article on TNO moons? So many TNOs have moons that I doubt it would be interesting; any generic info could be merged into natural satellite. Asteroid moons, however, were a notable discovery and got a fair amount of press. — kwami (talk) 23:05, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Orbital period[edit]

Is there a reason that the table(s) do not include the "Orbital period"? -- Kheider (talk) 14:25, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't think so, and it looks like a good thing to include. --JorisvS (talk) 14:52, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

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