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Himalia (moon)

himalia moon of jupiter, himalia moon of jupiter pictures
Himalia is the largest irregular satellite of Jupiter It is the sixth largest Jovian satellite overall in size, and only the four Galilean moons of Jupiter have greater mass It was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory on 3 December 1904 and is named after the nymph Himalia, who bore three sons of Zeus the Greek equivalent of Jupiter It is one of the largest planetary moons in the Solar System not imaged in detail, and the largest not including the moons of Neptune and several trans-Neptunian objects, particularly Dysnomia, the moon of Eris


  • 1 Discovery
    • 11 Name
  • 2 Orbit
  • 3 Physical characteristics
    • 31 Mass
  • 4 Exploration
  • 5 Possible relationship with Jupiter's rings
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory on 3 December 1904 Himalia is Jupiter's most easily observed small satellite; though Amalthea is brighter, its proximity to the planet's brilliant disk makes it a far more difficult object to view


Himalia is named after the nymph Himalia, who bore three sons of Zeus the Greek equivalent of Jupiter The moon did not receive its present name until 1975; before then, it was simply known as Jupiter VI or Jupiter Satellite VI, although calls for a full name appeared shortly after its and Elara's discovery; ACD Crommelin wrote in 1905:

Unfortunately the numeration of Jupiter's satellites is now in precisely the same confusion as that of Saturn's system was before the numbers were abandoned and names substituted A similar course would seem to be advisable here; the designation V for the inner satellite was tolerated for a time, as it was considered to be in a class by itself; but it has now got companions, so that this subterfuge disappears The substitution of names for numerals is certainly more poetic

The moon was sometimes called Hestia, after the Greek goddess, from 1955 to 1975


At a distance of about 115 million km from Jupiter, Himalia takes about 251 Earth days to complete one orbit It is the largest member of the group that bears its name, the moons orbiting between 114 and 13 million kilometres from Jupiter at an inclination of about 275° The orbital elements are as of January 2000 They are continuously changing due to solar and planetary perturbations

Physical characteristics

Himalia's rotational light curve from Earth-based observations taken between August and October 2010

Himalia's rotational period is 7004252000000000000♠7 h 7001460000000000000♠46 m 7001550000000000000♠55±2 s Himalia appears neutral in color grey, like the other members of its group, with colour indices B−V=062, V−R=04, similar to a C-type asteroid Measurements by Cassini confirm a featureless spectrum, with a slight absorption at 6994300000000000000♠3 μm, which could indicate the presence of water


In 2005, Emelyanov estimated Himalia to have a mass of 7018419000000000000♠419×1018 kg GM=028, based on a perturbation of Elara on July 15, 1949 JPL's Solar System dynamics web site assumes that Himalia has a mass of 7018670000000000000♠67×1018 kg GM=045 with a radius of 7004850000000000000♠85 km

Himalia's density will depend on whether it has an average radius of about 7004670000000000000♠67 km geometric mean from Cassini or a radius closer to 7004850000000000000♠85 km

Cassini image of Jupiter's moon Himalia, taken in December 2000 from a distance of 44 million kilometres
Source Radius
Emelyanov 67 333 419×1018
Emelyanov 85 163 419×1018
JPL SSD 85 26 67×1018


Image of Himalia taken by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2006 The moon covers only a few pixels

In November 2000, the Cassini spacecraft, en route to Saturn, made a number of images of Himalia, including photos from a distance of 44 million km Himalia covers only a few pixels, but seems to be an elongated object with axes 7002150000000000000♠150±20 and 7005120000000000000♠120±20 km, close to the Earth-based estimations

In February and March 2007, the New Horizons spacecraft en route to Pluto made a series of images of Himalia, culminating in photos from a distance of 8 million km Again, Himalia appears only a few pixels across

Possible relationship with Jupiter's rings

New Horizons image of possible Himalia ring

The small moon Dia, 4 kilometres in diameter, had gone missing since its discovery in 2000 One theory was that it had crashed into the much larger moon Himalia, 170 kilometres in diameter, creating a faint ring This possible ring appears as a faint streak near Himalia in images from NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto This suggests that Jupiter sometimes gains and loses small moons through collisions However, the recovery of Dia in 2010 and 2011 disproves the link between Dia and the Himalia ring, although it is still possible that a different moon may have been involved

See also

  • Irregular satellites


  1. ^ a b c Porter, J G 1905 "Discovery of a Sixth Satellite of Jupiter" Astronomical Journal 24 18: 154B Bibcode:1905AJ24154P doi:101086/103612 ;
    Perrine, C D 1905-01-25 "Sixth Satellite of Jupiter Confirmed" Harvard College Observatory Bulletin 175: 1 Bibcode:1905BHarO1751P ;
    Perrine, CD 1905 "Discovery of a Sixth Satellite to Jupiter" Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 17: 22–23 Bibcode:1905PASP1722 doi:101086/121619 ;
    Perrine, CD 1905 "Orbits of the sixth and seventh satellites of Jupiter" Astronomische Nachrichten 169 3: 43–44 Bibcode:1905AN16943P doi:101002/asna19051690304 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jacobson, R A 2000 "The orbits of outer Jovian satellites" Astronomical Journal 120 5: 2679–2686 Bibcode:2000AJ1202679J doi:101086/316817 
  3. ^ a b c d Porco, Carolyn C; et al March 2003 "Cassini Imaging of Jupiter's Atmosphere, Satellites, and Rings" PDF Science 299 5612: 1541–1547 Bibcode:2003Sci2991541P doi:101126/science1079462 PMID 12624258 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Planetary Satellite Physical Parameters" JPL Solar System Dynamics 2008-10-24 Retrieved 2008-12-11 
  5. ^ a b c d Emelyanov, NV; Archinal, B A; a'Hearn, M F; et al 2005 "The mass of Himalia from the perturbations on other satellites" Astronomy and Astrophysics 438 3: L33–L36 Bibcode:2005A&A438L33E doi:101051/0004-6361:200500143 
  6. ^ a b Density = GM / G / Volume of a sphere of 85km = 163 g/cm3
  7. ^ a b c Pilcher, Frederick; Mottola, Stefano; Denk, Tilmann 2012 "Photometric lightcurve and rotation period of Himalia Jupiter VI" Icarus 219 2: 741–742 Bibcode:2012Icar219741P doi:101016/jicarus201203021 
  8. ^ "Himalia, Jupiter's "fifth" moon" Archived from the original on July 19, 2011 
  9. ^ "Finding Himalia, The Fifth Brightest Moon Of Jupiter - an Astronomy Net Article" Astronomynet 2003-10-20 Retrieved 2011-11-07 
  10. ^ Marsden, B G 7 October 1974 "Satellites of Jupiter" IAU Circular 2846 
  11. ^ Crommelin, A C D March 10, 1905 "Provisional Elements of Jupiter's Satellite VI" Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 65 5: 524–527 Bibcode:1905MNRAS65524C doi:101093/mnras/655524 
  12. ^ Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia; Katherine Haramundanis 1970 Introduction to Astronomy Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall ISBN 0-13-478107-4 
  13. ^ "Himalia: Overview" NASA Retrieved 25 May 2011 
  14. ^ Jewitt, David C; Sheppard, Scott & Porco, Carolyn 2004 "Jupiter's Outer Satellites and Trojans" In Bagenal, F; Dowling, T E & McKinnon, W B Jupiter: The planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere PDF Cambridge University Press 
  15. ^ Rettig, T W; Walsh, K; Consolmagno, G December 2001 "Implied Evolutionary Differences of the Jovian Irregular Satellites from a BVR Color Survey" Icarus 154 2: 313–320 Bibcode:2001Icar154313R doi:101006/icar20016715 
  16. ^ Chamberlain, Matthew A; Brown, Robert H 2004 "Near-infrared spectroscopy of Himalia" Icarus 172 1: 163–169 Bibcode:2004Icar172163C doi:101016/jicarus200312016 
  17. ^ IAUC 7555 January 2001 "FAQ: Why don't you have Jovian satellite S/2000 J11 in your system" JPL Solar System Dynamics Retrieved 2011-02-13 
  18. ^ "Lunar marriage may have given Jupiter a ring", New Scientist, March 20, 2010, p 16
  19. ^ Gareth V Williams 2012-09-11 "MPEC 2012-R22 : S/2000 J 11" Minor Planet Center Retrieved 2012-09-11 

External links

  • "Himalia: Overview" by NASA's Solar System Exploration
  • David Jewitt pages
  • Jupiter's Known Satellites by Scott S Sheppard
  • Two Irregular Satellites of Jupiter Himalia & Elara: Remanzacco Observatory: November 23, 2012

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