Carpo (moon)

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Discovered byScott S. Sheppard et al.
Discovery date2003
Orbital characteristics
Mean orbit radius
17.145 Gm
458.625 days
Inclination56° to the ecliptic
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
~1.5 km

Carpo (/ˈkɑːrp/ KAR-poh; Greek: Καρπώ), also Jupiter XLVI, is a natural satellite of Jupiter. It was discovered by a team of astronomers from the University of Hawaii led by Scott S. Sheppard in 2003, and was provisionally designated as S/2003 J 20[2][3] until it received its name in early 2005.[4]

Carpo is about 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) in diameter, and orbits Jupiter at an average distance of 17.145 Gm (just over ten million miles) in 458.625 days, at an inclination of 56° to the ecliptic (55° to Jupiter's equator), and with a high eccentricity of 0.4316.

It was named in March 2005 after Carpo, one of the Horae, and a daughter of Zeus (Jupiter).

Like Themisto and Valetudo, this moon seems to be the lone member of a unique class, which makes it particularly interesting. The orbital inclination of satellites such as this one is limited by the Kozai effect, discovered by Yoshihide Kozai in 1962. This effect induces a periodic exchange between the inclination and eccentricity of the orbit; if the inclination is large enough, the eccentricity can in turn grow so large that the periapsis of the satellite (called the perizene in the case of moons of Jupiter) would be in the immediate vicinity of the Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto). The satellite would eventually collide with one of these, or a close encounter would eject it altogether from the Jovian system. The periapsis precession period (Pw) is 6.8 million years long.[1]


  1. ^ a b Jacobson, R. A. (2006) JUP262 (2007-06-28). "Planetary Satellite Mean Orbital Parameters". JPL/NASA. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  2. ^ Daniel W. E. Green (April 30, 2003). "IAUC 8125: S/2003 J 19 and S/2003 J 20". International Astronomical Union. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ MPEC 2003-G67: S/2003 J 20 2003 April (discovery and ephemeris)
  4. ^ Daniel W. E. Green (March 30, 2005). "IAUC 8502: Satellites of Jupiter". International Astronomical Union.

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