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Elara (moon) facts for kids

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Elara near the glare of bright Jupiter
Discovered by C. D. Perrine
Discovery date January 5, 1905
Orbital characteristics
Mean orbit radius
11,740,000 km (0.07810 AU)
Eccentricity 0.22
259.64 d (0.708 a)
3.27 km/s
Inclination 26.63° (to the ecliptic)
30.66° (to Jupiter's equator)
Satellite of Jupiter
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
43 km
~23,200 km2
Volume ~333,000 km3
Mass 8.7×1017 kg
Mean density
2.6 g/cm3 (assumed)
~0.031 m/s2 (0.003 g)
~0.052 km/s
~0.5 d (12 h)
Albedo 0.04 (assumed)
Temperature ~124 K

Elara is a non-spherical moon of Jupiter. It was found by Charles Dillon Perrine at Lick Observatory in 1905 and is named after the mother by Zeus of the giant Tityus.

Elara did not get its present name until 1975; before then, it was simply known as Jupiter VII. It was sometimes called "Hera" between 1955 and 1975.

Elara belongs to the Himalia group, five moons orbiting between 11,000,000 and 13,000,000 km from Jupiter at an inclination of about 27.5°. Its orbital elements are as of January 2000. They are changing a lot due to Solar and planetary perturbations.

New Horizons encounter

In February and March 2007, the New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto made a number of pictures of Elara, culminating in photos from a distance of five million miles.

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