Paaliaq (moon)

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Paaliaq - Saturn XX
Discovery [1]
Discovered by Brett J. Gladman et al.
Discovered in 2000
Mean Orbital elements [2]
Epoch 2000 Feb. 26.00
Semi-major axis 15.200 Gm
Eccentricity 0.3631
Inclination 45.083° *
Orbital period 686.9 d
(1.88 yr)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter 22 km[3] **
Rotation period ?
Albedo 0.04[3] assumed
Color red
B-V=0.86 R-V=0.40[4]
Spectral type D[4]

*to the ecliptic

**based on the albedo

Paaliaq (/ˈpɑːli.ɑːk/ PAH-lee-ahk) is a prograde irregular satellite of Saturn. It was discovered by Brett J. Gladman, John J. Kavelaars, Jean-Marc Petit, Hans Scholl, Matthew J. Holman, Brian G. Marsden, Philip D. Nicholson and Joseph A. Burns in early October 2000,[5][6] and given the temporary designation S/2000 S 2. It was named in August 2003 after a fictional shaman in the book The Curse of the Shaman, written by Michael Kusugak, who supplied Kavelaars with the names of giants from Inuit mythology that were used for other Saturnian moons.

Paaliaq is thought to be about 22 kilometres in diameter, and orbits Saturn at an average distance of 15.2 Gm in 687 days. It is a member of the Inuit group of irregular satellites. It also has a proximity with 9 other moons reaching up to ten miles from each.

It is light red in color, and in the infrared the Paaliap (Paaliaqan) spectrum is very similar to the Inuit-group satellites Kiviuq and Siarnaq, supporting the thesis of a possible common origin of the Inuit group in the break-up of a larger body.[4][7]


  1. ^ Discovery Circumstances (JPL)
  2. ^ Mean orbital parameters from NASA JPL
  3. ^ a b Scott Sheppard pages
  4. ^ a b c Grav, T.; and Bauer, J.; A deeper look at the colors of Saturnian irregular satellites
  5. ^ IAUC 7512: S/2000 S 1 and S/2000 S 2 October 25, 2000 (discovery)
  6. ^ MPEC 2000-Y15: S/2000 S 1, S/2000 S 2, S/2000 S 7, S/2000 S 8, S/2000 S 9 December 19, 2000 (discovery and ephemeris)
  7. ^ Gladman, B. J.; Nicholson, P. D.; Burns, J. A.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Marsden, B. G.; Holman, M. J.; Grav, T.; Hergenrother, C. W.; Petit, J.-M.; Jacobson, R. A.; and Gray, W. J.; Discovery of 12 satellites of Saturn exhibiting orbital clustering, Nature, 412 (July 12, 2001), pp. 163–166

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