Himalia – NASA Science

Himalia may be the largest remaining chunk of an asteroid (a C- or D-class asteroid, judging by the fact that it reflects only about 4% of the light it receives), which had several pieces broken off in a collision either before or after being captured by Jupiter’s gravity. In this scenario, those pieces became the other moons in the Himalia group: Leda, Lysithea and Elara. A fifth moon, called S/2000 J11, only about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) in radius, was considered a candidate for this group. However, it was lost before its orbit could be definitively determined. It may have crashed into Himalia, reuniting two pieces of the former asteroid, and perhaps creating a faint temporary ring of Jupiter near the orbit of Himalia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *