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Space Station Info :: Nine Planet Solar System :: History of Neptune :: Neptune Moon and Rings

Neptune Moon and Rings

Neptune has 13 known moons. The largest by far is Triton, discovered by William Lassell just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself. Distinct to all other large planetary moons, it has a retrograde and synchronous orbit. Triton is the coldest object that has been measured in our solar system, and it is slowly spiraling toward Neptune. Neptune's second satellite, Nereid, has one of the most eccentric orbits of any satellite in the solar system.

Neptune Moon and Rings

Voyager 2 discovered six new Neptunian moons from July to September 1989. Of these, the irregularly shaped Proteus is prominent for being as large as a body of its density can be without being pulled into a spherical shape by its own gravity. Neptune's first four moons, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, and Galatea orbit close enough to be within Neptune's rings. The next farthest out, Larissa was originally discovered in 1981 when it had blocked a star. This was credited to ring arcs, but when Voyager 2 observed Neptune in 1989, it was found to have been caused by the moon.

Five new uneven moons were announced in 2004.They were discovered in 2002 and 2003.

Trojan Asteroids of Neptune

There are two known Trojan asteroids of Neptune which have the same orbital period as Neptune and lie in the elongated, curved region around the L4 Lagrangian point 60° ahead of Neptune.

See about:

History of Neptune
Physical Characteristics of Neptune
Discovery Of Neptune
Visibility From Earth And Appearance
Neptune's Rings
The Moons And Trojan Asteroids Of Neptune