The Planets Are Weirdly In Sync 

Steve Mould
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Orbital Resonance
Incredibly, three of the four largest moons of Jupiter (Ganymede, Europa and Io) have orbital periods that are whole number ratios with each other (1:2:4). The big gap in Saturn's rings is caused by a moon much further out that has an orbital period double that of the gap! We've even found exoplanet systems with these patterns. They're all the result of orbital resonance. This video explains how that mechanism works.

CORRECTION: In the video I say that Ganymede, Europa and Io are the largest moons are jupiter. Actually here are the 4 largest moons from largest to smallest:


Here's my video on resonance:

Here's my video about bad maths:

This is Dr Becky Smethurst's channel:

This is Beardyman's channel:

This is Jay Foreman's channel:

This is the Veritasium video mentioned at the start:

Here's the paper I found that explains orbital resonance:

Image credits:
Picture of Dwayne Johnson - Aarón Sánchez

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Science & Technology

Published on


Apr 8, 2021




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Comments : 2 527   
Steve Mould
Steve Mould 7 months ago
You can also discuss this video on REDDIT: stvmld.com/7enfg47s I say "in other words" about 300 times in this video. But what's the alternative?! CORRECTION: In the video I say that Ganymede, Europa and Io are the largest moons are jupiter. Actually here are the 4 largest moons from largest to smallest: Ganymede Callisto Io Europa
Jek Month ago
Honestly I didn't even notice. Just like an engineer is less likely to notice your sense of fashion, I think when focused on the technical one is less likely to notice the aesthetics of syntax. I suppose you might be able to leave it out in some cases, or maybe "to elaborate", "put simpler/more simply", "furthermore". I feel like there is a labeled part of speech that slots into this syntax variable
Nicolasin 2014
Nicolasin 2014 Month ago
It''s God mate, and the world is flat, just saying....
Jek Month ago
"what is \"in other words\" in other words?" lol, I enjoy your question. I don't have an answer though
sleepyfutch tgirl
there it is, the Music of the Spheres
Busi Xho
Busi Xho Month ago
Nature solved the 3 body problem from the start, while were still scratching out heads 🤣
Doc Savage
Doc Savage 2 days ago
It's not natural! Two or more moon's orbiting a planet should naturally always end in collision.
pussymuncha69 6 days ago
Got Derek'd 😂
bertjesklotepino 6 days ago
"in other words" Otherwise known as? To put it differently?
bertjesklotepino 6 days ago
Wait, IO goes around Jupiter in less than 2 days? Around that large a gasgiant in just 2 days? Damn, that moon moves fast.
Kwoky 7 days ago
19:30 - Swapped faces
Richard Pace
Richard Pace 7 days ago
Reading though works of people like Batty Langley and learning about the "old" artisan ways of design and architecture, there are VERY strong connections between music, structure, proportionality, and nature and they would very much use these "resonant" features as a baseline for construction, art, and design. I am more surprised that using musicality to describe structures in nature is considered a recent phenomena in science as I had always assumed it was an (very) old technique.
Scott Criswell
Scott Criswell 9 days ago
I was waiting for a line about the music of the spheres!
Kai Lim
Kai Lim 9 days ago
wait, Jay Foreman and Beardyman are related???
Evolover 9 days ago
Isnt it weird how on Nov. 20th in the middle on the night when the sun and the moon were on opposite sides of the earth, the earth did not shadow the moon? It was a full moon. Earth is either transparent or we're being lied to. Also why does the moon put off a cold light instead of a warm light like the sun? Its warmer in the shade of the moon and colder under the moon.
Kristofer Krus
Kristofer Krus 9 days ago
But Steve, you haven't explained the full story. With your explanation, the meeting point shouldn't stop at the symmetry line, but it should oscillate around it forever. Once the meeting between the two moons happens on the symmetry line, the outer moon will be so far away that the ratio between the period of the outer moon and the period of the inner moon is more than two, making the meeting point continue to occur earlier and earlier. But once the meeting point is on the other side of the symmetry line, the inner moon will start to take angular momentum from the outer moon, which will decrease the ratio between the periods again. This will slow down the "motion" of the symmetry line, which will eventually turn around and start to move back towards the symmetry line, and once again end up on the other side of it, and so on and so forth. So what damps the meeting point's motion and makes it eventually settle at the symmetry line?
Luke Bieniek
Luke Bieniek 10 days ago
Yeah! 😃Thank you for those interesting hypothesis. As I’ve come to understand, the celestial bodies you speak of, are “mere”or not so “mirror” image projections. Would you care to comment on the source of color & it’s relevance to the ground we occupy. The new buzz word of course, is “simulation”. Please if you could, edit in, a response to this theory.
Derp. 11 days ago
Died at using the rock
Max Mersmann-Jones
Max Mersmann-Jones 12 days ago
"what if we thought about the orbits as musical tones" ok Johannes Kepler
Patrik Banek
Patrik Banek 12 days ago
12:58 this is to scale?
RedRanger5577 12 days ago
The thumbnail looks very much like an upisnotjump vid down to the font used
Curt Coller
Curt Coller 14 days ago
Larger after or before they meet - that depends on "where they meet" sir and is not in general larger after they meet! You are showing a graph where the moons meet on the "return section of the orbits". Imagine the same on the "escape section" and you have your graphical proof. Now apply math.
04dram04 14 days ago
Everything in the universe is in sync
Music Subic and Cebu
I read somewhere that the moons of Jupiter obey Bode's Law, which predicts the distance of the planets from the sun based on a series of 4's. Interestingly, the notes of the musical scale, and the atomic radii, can also be obtained by first writing down a series of 4's. The numbers describing the solar system are so suspiciously familiar that I've some to the conclusion that what we see out there is just fleshed-out math. Why not? There are far too many mysteries for us not to be missing something obvious.
RandomThings 17 days ago
Look up, Europa Part 1.
RandomThings 17 days ago
Montana Railroads
Montana Railroads 18 days ago
New drinking game: take a shot every time Steve says "In other words" You'll be dead from alcohol poisoning before the video gets to the 10:00 mark.
will2see 18 days ago
Luxalpa 20 days ago
I was just wondering how it would be if there was a civilization living in that solar system where all 5 planets meet every so many years and you'd see them all lined up in a row! Would truly be magical!
Ch0rr1s 20 days ago
19:00 - I think I heard that song in a club before 🤪
Jeremiah Nudell
Jeremiah Nudell 20 days ago
Great video thank you
Jeremiah Nudell
Jeremiah Nudell 20 days ago
You and the diy perks homie would get along haha
Rudolf Sykora
Rudolf Sykora 20 days ago
Some people think resonance is force
Artur H
Artur H 20 days ago
Suppose because Callisto is much further 16.7 earth days month not synchronized yet. Took only few weeks for Galileo to figure out the move of the moons by the way.
Berthulf 22 days ago
all of a sudden, Starbuck's coordinates melody in the BSG reboot becomes an even cooler a concept. FYI, Sciphile sent me.
Nathan Skinner
Nathan Skinner 22 days ago
He seems to say angular momentum a lot but what he means is tangential velocity. A body has angular momentum if it is rotating about an axis within itself. It just seems a bit weird to me to think about the body that itself is spinning about an axis running through it as having an angular momentum in the orbital sense. An increase in tangential velocity or delta v which causes a rise in apogee or perigee makes a lot more sense.
Rusty Cherkas
Rusty Cherkas 22 days ago
Getting the celestial bodies to line up? Kubrick did this back in '67 to film "2001: A Space Odyssey"... Kubrick is said to have demanded a lot from the props dept and his riggers... :-)
Larry E. Goines Jr.
The Next Close Approach To Mars Is Dec. 8, 2022, When The Red Planet Will Be Only 38.6 Million Miles (62.07 Million Kilometers) From Earth.
Rasta 24 days ago
steve mold: sciencing the whole time me everytime theres a graphic: bing...bing........bing........bing...bing
Christian Sather
Christian Sather 26 days ago
then universe is electric
MPerlatti 27 days ago
In orbital dynamics it seems the constant is the source of gravity in the center. The main source. The sources outside your orbit lose influence on you with each orbit.
Rivergrrrl 27 days ago
I wonder if using the music of the spheres to represent solar systems could make it easier to find places compatible for human life?
Jakk Aka Sunset
Jakk Aka Sunset 29 days ago
21:12 TED ED be like
Nicholas Adams
Nicholas Adams 29 days ago
The Rock is in everything!! Movies, Rap Videos, and even orbiting Saturn!!!
Mustakrakish 29 days ago
I need a Ben Levin remix of this.
Magnus Juul
Magnus Juul 29 days ago
Maybe I'm just tonedeaf, but I had a hard time picking out the pattern in the beatboxing
Magnus Juul
Magnus Juul 29 days ago
So it's because of the Earths bulging water due to the moons gravity, that the moon is getting further and further away? The mass of the Earth's water is pretty small compared to the moon, so shouldn't the effect be pretty negligable? I get that the distanc from Earth to the moon can be measured pretty accurately with lasers, and those measurements indicate that the moon is getting further away, but how certain can we be that it's tidal forces that are the cause and not some other mechanism? Also what effect would the planet that two moons are orbiting around have on this? Couldn't it sorta either magnify the bulging or diminish it?
DRXxUziixX95 29 days ago
Please put make the plannets in our solar system as frequencies. I wanna hear what they sound like
Eleni von Mondlicht- Apsouneli
See the Pythagorean system
Markus E
Markus E Month ago
There are Nine (9) planets orbiting the Sun in the Solar system. Only stupid people believe and agree with everything they are told by imperfect and manipulating people, people prone to deception, corruption and manipulation, in this case certain scientists.
MattJohno2 Month ago
Is it just me who thinks this guy looks like Bashir from DS9?
The TruManZoo
The TruManZoo Month ago
orbits only appear elliptical optically, in reality they are not, as they are observed though projected light. (a 2 dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional event) any perfect circle must be drawn as an ellipse under perspective. planets speeding up and slowing down periodically is pretty nonsensical, especially since our observations are so constant.
James Macleod
James Macleod Month ago
Man, so much to unpack, genuinely awestruck at the mechanics and the construct of the aural application, mind well and truly blown, go Steve!
Simon McCaffrey
Simon McCaffrey Month ago
261Hz C below middle C? :)
Okay Einstein, what is the distance between the rings around URanus? Devil puppets speaking great lies...
Damalia Marsi
Damalia Marsi Month ago
Joseph Mengele would be proud of Biden's Mandate.
Szymon Baranowski
Solar system is a system. In any system elements affect each other. Sun influences gravitationally and electromagnetically planets and planets affect each other and the sun.
Holy cow, the ambition of this video... Played for, and got! And then the whole bonus jem about sonification of data. To think, pre UStotal your gifts would have been bestowed only upon rooms full of inattentive adolescents.
HumanzeE Month ago
I think of an engines crankshaft cross-sectionally, which then makes me think of harmonics and balance and then there is the time scale of the universe of trillions of years, so then to continue the analogy, the idea of an engine slowing down due to "entropy" or gravitational influence of external bodies. It seems like it's obvious that everything would have to slow down... And then to imagine the speed everything moved trillions of years ago...
Kyle Carbonneau
Kyle Carbonneau Month ago
16:21 This moment made the whole video worth watching... if you know you know ;) And we know they know we know that they know. "It almost became if you could prove the resonance, you could prove heliocentrism, but..." Look at Steve's body language after that moment... lol.
Ted Moss
Ted Moss Month ago
The first thing that popped into my head was that there are practically no circular orbits, so whats the problem? You just made up the problem to make a video.
Steven Hines
Steven Hines Month ago
Skyrim Explorer
Skyrim Explorer Month ago
So well explained. I'm amazed. Thank you.
Antonius Hermans
Nice video, what would also be interesting is the frequency of this resonance and where it comes from.
codedecode Month ago
1:10 please stop using the word "exactly" 1.77 x 2 = 3.54, not exactly 3.55 3.55 x 2 = 7.10, not exactly 7.15 (not even close in fact)
charjl Month ago
He kinda remind me of Julian Bashir
Robin Bruce
Robin Bruce Month ago
Wait wtf is that beardyman
HYZ Month ago
hmmm rewind the universe till the dino times maybe wed understand more about changes in orbital resonance over time.. more/less moons!
Robert Jamieson
Robert Jamieson Month ago
Earth takes almost one year to orbit the Sun.
tommy mcbeth
tommy mcbeth Month ago
close encounters of the third kind
Dennis Aulay Robinson
I just watched my first video by Steve. My interest in vids purporting to be "science" disappears after the first attempt by the vid author to either provide just enough information to wet your whistle, as it were, or just enough to show you your math skills aren't up to the job. In other words, science vids suffer from two extremes; either sophomoric or beyond my "pay grade". I found no such problem with your vid. Engaging with ideas of sufficient complexity to keep my attention yet *totally clearly explained. Good job. Ty. Dennis Robinson Calgary
Harry Barrow
Harry Barrow Month ago
Hah! Jupiter’s moons count in binary. 🤓
Simeon Wardle
Simeon Wardle Month ago
Subscribed. I love aquiring random knowledge especially when it is intergrated with sound.
Innokenty Shuvalov
Hahahahah, BEARDYMAN!!!
Paul the Painter
17:29 I thought my tablet was restarting
Park Tamaroon
Park Tamaroon Month ago
One flaw in the animations: when the momentum of the bodies changes a bit their orbital distance changes a bit. Overall a great explanation though.
Furious Fill
Furious Fill Month ago
That's the lady who trashed horoscopes, so for me you also are worthless, guilty by association.
Mikel Taylor
Mikel Taylor Month ago
Eccentricity + the N Body problem = Shenanigans.
fly fin
fly fin Month ago
took you full 20 minutes to get into the point and im glad you did :) cant imagine the takes with full 2 minutes sentences
RJ C Month ago
Hearing you play notes that align with resonance, makes me wonder why animals are not musical. It seems it would be primal.
0ned Month ago
Yes, heliocentrism os false. Barycentric coordinates will be the future of topology, once we accept the stoic concept of dynamic continuum & abandon Maxwell's stationary vacuum (convoluted into our modern concept of time-space fabric).
Dean Young
Dean Young Month ago
According to your description, the moon will gain orbital momentum and move away from the planet because the planet has oceans and tides. What about planets that do not have oceans and tides?
Stuart Kerr
Stuart Kerr Month ago
Wouldn't this be exactly how electrons stick to certain orbit levels (?) around atoms but because they're so small they just get o equilibrium so much faster?
bimmjim Month ago
I don't mix science with music. Loose the crap music.
Hasan Aslan
Hasan Aslan Month ago
In david tennant's voice : the music of the spheres
A B Month ago
Hey man, good work. Go do some weights and get some sunshine. You'll be smarter for it.
Taylor Decaney
Taylor Decaney Month ago
Great video, Steve! The only thing I don't understand is why there is a large empty band in the middle of Saturn's rings. Wouldn't rocks on the edge be influenced much greater than rocks that were in that band?
randy broderick
randy broderick Month ago
Your use of sound to exemplify resonance opened up my “math/mind”. Ha! You’re good teacher. Thank you
Cameron Salazar
Cameron Salazar Month ago
umm so wow amazing video and just the explanation alone is amazing and makes sense no matter the length or time I really do appreciate you making a video on this topic I have wondered this a long time ago but never into detail like this and the reasons and just love the video and its great!!
Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fudd Month ago
Wow! Thank you for such an intuitive explanation. So, does this also relate to galaxies and the universe?
Francisco Seoane
This video is mindblowing!!!!!
Thurman Zhou
Thurman Zhou Month ago
A Chinese mathematician wrote a paper in ~ 700 CE in the northern Wei calendar. It was a state secret at the time. The orbits look like a five pointed during sync, which repeats and forms a fractal.
Jek Month ago
orbital resonance only happens with elliptical orbits? that seems like it might mean something about sinusoidal resonance, but I dont know what combine the fourier transformation idea with that idea, what happens? turning the orbital patterns of our solar system into music is awestrikingly cool, I need to play around with that, if i have to model the system myself ill do it lol
colin geissler
colin geissler Month ago
18:55 human music
Kris B
Kris B Month ago
ChiTownTino Month ago
How hard was it to match up your animations to your words?
Zero Bugden
Zero Bugden Month ago
Sorry if this is a dumb question but why does the moon on the smaller loop have to be doing a 2:1 Rotation? What change would that cause? (I'm at 11:00) Apologies if this gets answered later.
Cosmic Surfer
Cosmic Surfer Month ago
Nice theory but it is based on calculation and speculation. The "sky clock" sync is reality though, just without the fantasy science fiction.
Eltaurus Month ago
One important correction though. Here 11:37 the video did not account for the indirect effect of the inner moon's gravity. In addition to attracting the outer moon directly, it also causes the planet to move on a small circular orbit around the common barycenter. This changes the direction in which the planet is pulling the smallest body, and thus also influences the orbital motion of the outer moon. It turns out, that, when two effects are combined, the meeting of the moons at the symmetry line actually becomes unstable. Instead, a pair of stable meeting points to the sides of the symmetry line is created. This happens not only to 1:2 resonance but for all 1:N type resonances. For the other ones the meeting at the symmetry line remains stable (at least for the moons, whose orbits are in the same plane).
Gioele Sessa
Gioele Sessa Month ago
Andrew Huang should make a song using those beats and chords
etyrnal Month ago
You mentioned that the inner moon is always pulling on the outer moon but don't bother to mention that the outer Moon would be pulling back opposite. And I don't hear it being taken into account.
SavageDr4gon Month ago
Hey steve, Ive got a question. Whats the maximum rotational velocity of a proton? I know that when it comes down to basic rotational velocity, its determined by the objects self cohesiveness. (Electromagnetism i think, but i could be wrong) But what if you spin a particle that cant separate from other particles? Would the maximum rotation be light speed? And what happens to a particle that would spin that fast? Id love to see a video on it if you can. Cordially, savagedr4gon
Obi Wan Cannabi
Obi Wan Cannabi Month ago
its called resonance, same thing or similar happens when metronomes are put into a system and allowed to tick, eventually the most common pattern wins out, and seeing as all planets cant occupy the same orbit they find resonance amongst themselves
boring content
boring content Month ago
jon culp
jon culp Month ago
I love seeing the other science education channels commenting on Steve's videos. The community unites.
wereid1978 Month ago
Minor criticism your tone and pace of speech being mostly unchanging it gets dull.