Bestla (moon)

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Bestla (/ˈbɛstlə/ BEST-lə) or Saturn XXXIX (provisional designation S/2004 S 18) is a retrograde irregular moon of Saturn. Its discovery was announced by Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt, Jan Kleyna, and Brian G. Marsden on 4 May 2005, from observations taken between 13 December 2004 and 5 March 2005.


Bestla is about 7 kilometres in diameter, and orbits Saturn at an average distance of 20,192,000 km in 1088 days, at an inclination of 147° to the ecliptic (151° to Saturn's equator), in a retrograde direction and with an eccentricity of 0.5145.[1] Early observations from 2005 suggested that Bestla had a very high eccentricity of 0.77.[2] Like many of the outer irregular moons of the giant planets, Bestla's eccentricity may vary as a result of the Kozai mechanism. Besta's rotation period is 14.6238±0.0001 hours.[3]


This moon was named in April 2007 after Bestla, a frost giantess from Norse mythology, who is a mother of Odin.


  1. ^ Jacobson, R.A. (2007-06-28). "Planetary Satellite Mean Orbital Parameters". JPL/NASA. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  2. ^ Brian G. Marsden (2005-05-03). "MPEC 2005-J13 : Twelve New Satellites of Saturn". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  3. ^ Denk, T.; Mottola, S. (2019). Cassini Observations of Saturn's Irregular Moons (PDF). 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Lunar and Planetary Institute.

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