Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Wikipedia is now indicating that S/ 2004 S 5 now has the provisional name Polydeuces. According to Encyclopedia Mythica, Polydeuces was the twin brother of Castor. Polydeuces, the moon, is 5 km across and orbits 377,000 km from Saturn in 2 days and 19 hours. Polydeuces orbits in Dione's trailing Lagrangian point (L5). Another satellite, Helene, discovered by Pierre Laques and Jean Lecacheux in 1980, orbits in Dione's leading Lagrangian point (L4).

Three other Saturnian satellites have been named in the last month. Methone and Pallene orbit Saturn between Mimas and Enceladus and, like Polydeuces, were discovered by Cassini last year. Narvi was discovered in 2003 by Scott Sheppard and his team at the University of Hawai'i and is one of the numerous irregular outer satellites of Saturn. Three satellites found near the F-ring discovered by Cassini await confirmation and naming. It remains to be seen whether these moons are permanent or are just transient ring clumps.


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