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is an informal term for a particularly small natural satellite
A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called its primary. The two terms are used synonymously for non-artificial satellites of planets, of dwarf planets, and of minor planets....
. In astronomical literature, it has been used in at least two situations:
- A belt of objects embedded in a planetary ring, as in Saturn's A Ring or S/2009 S 1
S/2009 S 1 is a 'propeller moonlet' of Saturn orbiting at a distance of about , in the outer part of Saturn's B Ring, and with an approximate diameter of . It was discovered by the Cassini Imaging Team on July 26, 2009. The moon was noticed during the 2009 equinox event by an approximately long...
in the B Ring ("propeller" moonlets) or in Saturn's F Ring.
- Occasionally for asteroid moon
A minor planet moon is an astronomical body that orbits a minor planet as its natural satellite. It is thought that many asteroids and Kuiper belt objects may possess moons, in some cases quite substantial in size...
s, such as the moons of 87 Sylvia
87 Sylvia is one of the largest main-belt asteroids. It is a member of the Cybele group located beyond the core of the belt . Sylvia is remarkable for being the first asteroid known to possess more than one moon....