S/2006 S 20

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S/2006 S 20 is ∼4 kilometers in size and one of the small Irregular moons of Saturn. Its discovery has been announced in May 2023. Its mean distance to Saturn is ∼13¼ million kilometers, with one revolution around the planet on a retrograde orbit requiring 1 year, 6 months and 2¼ weeks.

This is the shortest orbit period and smallest mean distance of all known 100 retrograde moons of Saturn except big Phoebe which revolves Saturn from a slightly closer range. The orbit inclination of S/2006 S 20 (175°) is very similar to Phoebe’s (175°). Therefore, it appears very likely that this object is a chip blown off Phoebe a long time ago.

This object has not been named yet. We made no attempt to observe it with Cassini because it was unknown at the time Cassini was active. Note that the orbital elements in the MPEC announcement are current values, not mean elements (time-averaged over a few thousand years) as given for the pre-2023 announced objects.

Last update: 23 May 2023 — page content is best displayed on a screen at least 1024 pixels wide

© Tilmann Denk (2023)