S/2020 S 9

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S/2020 S 9 is ∼3½ kilometers in size and thus one of the small Irregular moons of Saturn. Its discovery has been announced in May 2023 joint with sixty-one other outer Saturnian moons. Its mean distance to Saturn is 26 million kilometers, with one revolution around the planet on a retrograde orbit requiring 4 years, 3 months and 2 weeks.

This is (joint with Saturn LVIII, S/2004 S 52, and S/2019 S21) one of the largest mean distances of a Saturnian Irregular moon to the planet. The orbit eccentricity of 0.52 is also quite large. At the most distant point of its orbit (apoapsis), this moon is ~40 million kilometers away from Saturn, this is about ¼ of the distance between the Earth and the Sun or ∼⅔ of the way from Earth to the orbit of Venus.

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

© Tilmann Denk (2023)