Fr.: orbite en fer à cheval
A periodic orbit which passes around the → Lagrangian points L4, L3, and L5, but neither of the two primaries. This orbit is shaped like a horseshoe when viewed in a reference frame rotating with the primaries. Such orbits occur in the solar system, for example in the case of the satellites → Janus and → Epimetheus, which share the same orbit around → Saturn. The smaller Epimetheus encompasses both the L4 and L5 points associated with the larger Janus and performs a horseshoe orbit relative to Saturn and Janus. The satellites experience a close approach every 4 years during which their orbits are exchanged. → tadpole orbit.