Galatea (moon) facts for kids
Galatea as seen by Voyager 2 (elongation is due to smearing)
|Discovered by||Stephen P. Synnott and Voyager Imaging Team|
|Discovery date||July 1989|
|MPC designation||Neptune VI|
|Epoch 18 August 1989|
|61 952.57 km|
|Eccentricity||0.00022 ± 0.00008|
|0.42874431 ± 0.00000001 d|
|Dimensions||204×184×144 km (±~10 km)|
|87.4 ± 4.9 km|
|Mass||2.12 ± 0.08 ×1018 kg|
|~0.75 g/cm3 (estimate)|
|Temperature||~51 K mean (estimate)|
Galatea is a small moon and is irregularly shaped. It orbits in the same direction as Neptune. Scientists believe that Galatea was formed of broken fragments of Neptune's earlier smashed-up satellites. Galatea shows no sign of any geological modification.
Galatea appears to be a shepherd moon. A shepherd moon is a small moon that orbits near the inner or outer edges of parent planet's rings or within gaps in the rings.
Interesting facts about Galatea
- Galatea is named after Galatea, one of the fifty Nereids of Greek legend, with whom Cyclops Polyphemus was vainly in love.
- It is likely that Galatea is a rubble pile re-accreted from fragments of Neptune's smashed up satellites.
- Galatea's orbit is slowly spiralling inward, which may eventually impact the planet. It can later break up into a new planetary ring system.
- Galatea only shows one face toward Neptune, its parent planet. This happens because Galatea's orbit is tidally locked. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its parent planet.
In Spanish: Galatea (satélite) para niños
Galatea (moon) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.