S/2003 J 12

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S/2003 J 12
Discovered by Scott S. Sheppard et al.
Discovery date 2003
Orbital characteristics
Mean orbit radius
17.883 million km[1]
Eccentricity 0.4920
489.72 days
Inclination 143°
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
~0.5 km
Mass 1.50×1012 kg

S/2003 J 12 is a natural satellite of Jupiter, and is one of the smallest known natural satellites in the Solar System. It was discovered by a team of astronomers from the University of Hawaii led by Scott S. Sheppard in 2003.[2][3]

S/2003 J 12 is about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) in diameter, and orbits Jupiter at an average distance of 17,883 Mm in 489.72 days, at an inclination of 143° to the ecliptic (143° to Jupiter's equator), in a retrograde direction and with an eccentricity of 0.4920.[1]

It is the innermost of the outer irregular retrograde satellites of Jupiter, and does not seem to belong to any group.

This moon has not been seen since its discovery in 2003 and is currently considered lost.[4][5][6] Follow-up observations in 2018 are planned to secure its orbit.[7]


  1. ^ a b Jacobson, R. A. (2007-06-28). "Planetary Satellite Mean Orbital Parameters". JPL/NASA. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ Daniel W. E. Green (March 7, 2003). "IAUC 8089: Satellites of Jupiter". International Astronomical Union. 
  3. ^ MPEC 2003-E29: S/2003 J 9, 2003 J 10, 2003 J 11, 2003 J 12; S/2003 J 1, 2003 J 6 April 3, 2003 (discovery and ephemeris)
  4. ^ Beatty, Kelly (4 April 2012). "Outer-Planet Moons Found — and Lost". www.skyandtelescope.com. Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  5. ^ Brozović, Marina; Jacobson, Robert A. (9 March 2017). "The Orbits of Jupiter's Irregular Satellites". The Astronomical Journal. 153 (4). doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa5e4d. 
  6. ^ Jacobson, B.; Brozović, M.; Gladman, B.; Alexandersen, M.; Nicholson, P. D.; Veillet, C. (28 September 2012). "Irregular Satellites of the Outer Planets: Orbital Uncertainties and Astrometric Recoveries in 2009–2011". The Astronomical Journal. 144 (5). doi:10.1088/0004-6256/144/5/132. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Sheppard, Scott S. (2017). "New Moons of Jupiter Announced in 2017". home.dtm.ciw.edu. Retrieved 27 June 2017. We likely have all of the lost moons in our new observations from 2017, but to link them back to the remaining lost 2003 objects requires more observations a year later to confirm the linkages, which will not happen until early 2018. ... There are likely a few more new moons as well in our 2017 observations, but we need to reobserve them in 2018 to determine which of the discoveries are new and which are lost 2003 moons.