New Satellites of Jupiter 2003

New Satellites of Jupiter Discovered in 2003


This page describes the discovery of 23 new satellites of Jupiter, bringing the total of known Jupiter satellites to 63.


Discovery of the New Satellites

The majority of the new satellites were first seen in early February 2003 by Scott S. Sheppard and David C. Jewitt along with Jan Kleyna. The satellites were detected using the world's two largest digital cameras at the Subaru (8.3 meter diameter) and Canada-France-Hawaii (3.6 meter diameter) telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Both telescopes and their imaging cameras represent the latest technology has to offer. Recoveries were performed at the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter with help from Yanga Fernandez and Henry Hsieh also from the University of Hawaii. Brian Marsden of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics performed the orbit fitting for the new satellites.

The first 7 satellites were formally announced by the International Astronomical Union on Circular No. 8087 on March 4, 2003 while the eighth was announced on Circular No. 8088 on March 6, the 9th through 12th on Circular No. 8089 on March 7, S/2003 J13 through J20 were announced in April, S/2003 J21 in May 2003*, S/2003 J22 on January 25, 2004 and S/2003 J23 on February 4, 2004 ( more info here). Except for S/2003 J20, all the new Jupiter satellites appear to have distant retrograde orbits (ie. their orbital rotation is opposite to Jupiter's rotation) like the majority of the known irregular satellites of Jupiter. The satellite S/2003 J20 appears to be a prograde satellite dynamically distinct from any other known Jupiter satellite.


Figure 1: Images of two newly discovered Jupiter satellites (Left S/2003 J1; Right S/2003 J14) showing their motion relative to background stars and galaxies. Click on the images to learn more about them.


Here is a table and diagram showing all of Jupiter's known satellites .


To learn more about the satellites of Jupiter visit The Jupiter Satellite Page.

*Note: S/2003 J13 to S/2003 J22 were codiscovered by us and another team from Canada.

Scott S. Sheppard