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Polydeuces (moon)

Polydeuces (moon)

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Polydeuces


Saturn's moon Polydeuces
Discovery
Discovered by Cassini Imaging Science Team
Discovered on 24 October 2004
Orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

al characteristics
mean Semimajor axis 377,396 km
Eccentricity 0.0192
Orbital period
Orbital period
The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

2.736915 d
Inclination
Inclination
Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

0.1774 ± 0.0015°
Is a satellite
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....

 of
Saturn
Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
Diameter
In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle...

3.5 km
Mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

1 − 5 kg
Kilogram
The kilogram or kilogramme , also known as the kilo, is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units and is defined as being equal to the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram , which is almost exactly equal to the mass of one liter of water...

 
Mean density
Density
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

unknown
Surface gravity unknown
Rotation period assumed synchronous
Synchronous rotation
In astronomy, synchronous rotation is a planetological term describing a body orbiting another, where the orbiting body takes as long to rotate on its axis as it does to make one orbit; and therefore always keeps the same hemisphere pointed at the body it is orbiting...

Axial tilt
Axial tilt
In astronomy, axial tilt is the angle between an object's rotational axis, and a line perpendicular to its orbital plane...

unknown
Albedo
Albedo
Albedo , or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface. It is defined as the ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it...

unknown
Surface temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

min mean max
Atmosphere none


Polydeuces (icon ; ) is a very small natural satellite
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....

 of Saturn
Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

 that is co-orbital with Dione
Dione (moon)
Dione is a moon of Saturn discovered by Cassini in 1684. It is named after the titan Dione of Greek mythology. It is also designated Saturn IV.- Name :...

 and librates around the trailing Lagrangian point
Lagrangian point
The Lagrangian points are the five positions in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two larger objects...

 . Its diameter is estimated to be about 3.5 km.

Polydeuces was discovered by the Cassini Imaging Team on October 24, 2004, in images taken on October 21, 2004, and given the temporary designation S/2004 S 5. Subsequent searches of earlier Cassini imaging showed it in images as far back as April 9, 2004. Polydeuces is also designated as Saturn XXXIV.

Of the four known Lagrangian co-orbitals in the Saturn system, Polydeuces wanders
Libration
In astronomy, libration is an oscillating motion of orbiting bodies relative to each other, notably including the motion of the Moon relative to Earth, or of Trojan asteroids relative to planets.-Lunar libration:...

 the farthest from its Lagrangian point: its distance behind Dione varies from 33.9° to 91.4° with a period of 790.931 days (for comparison, trails Dione by 60°). Polydeuces' libration is large enough that it takes on some qualities of a tadpole orbit, as evidenced by the clear asymmetry between excursions towards and away from Dione. In the course of one such cycle, Polydeuces' orbital radius also varies by about ± 7660 km with respect to Dione's.

The name Polydeuces was approved by the IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature on January 21, 2005. In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Polydeuces is another name for Pollux, twin brother of Castor, son of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and Leda
Leda (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Leda was daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and wife of the king Tyndareus , of Sparta. Her myth gave rise to the popular motif in Renaissance and later art of Leda and the Swan...

.

External links