Ophelia (moon)

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Uranus rings and two moons.jpg
Discovery image of Ophelia (top of image, outside of rings)
Discovered by Richard J. Terrile / Voyager 2
Discovery date January 20, 1986
Orbital characteristics
Mean orbit radius
53,763.390 ± 0.847 km[1]
Eccentricity 0.00992 ± 0.000107[1]
0.37640039 ± 0.00000357 d[1]
Average orbital speed
10.39 km/s[a]
Inclination 0.10362 ± 0.055° (to Uranus' equator)[1]
Satellite of Uranus
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 54 × 38 × 38 km[2]
Mean radius
21.4 ± 4 km[2][3][4]
~6600 km²[a]
Volume ~41,000 km³[a]
Mass ~5.3×1016 kg[a]
Mean density
~1.3 g/cm³ (assumed)[3]
~0.0070 m/s²[a]
~0.018 km/s[a]
Temperature ~64 K[a]

Ophelia (/ˈfliə/ o-FEE-lee-ə)[6][7] is a moon of Uranus. It was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on January 20, 1986, and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 8.[8] It was not seen until the Hubble Space Telescope recovered it in 2003.[5][9] Ophelia was named after the daughter of Polonius, Ophelia, in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. It is also designated Uranus VII.[10]

Other than its orbit,[1] radius of 21 km[2] and geometric albedo of 0.08[5] virtually nothing is known about it. At the Voyager 2 images Ophelia appears as an elongated object, the major axis pointing towards Uranus. The ratio of axes of the Ophelia's prolate spheroid is 0.7 ± 0.3.[2]

Ophelia acts as the outer shepherd satellite for Uranus' ε ring.[11] The orbit of Ophelia is within the synchronous orbit radius of Uranus, and is therefore slowly decaying due to tidal forces.[2]

See also


Explanatory notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Calculated on the basis of other parameters.


  1. ^ a b c d e Jacobson, R. A. (1998). "The Orbits of the Inner Uranian Satellites From Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager 2 Observations". The Astronomical Journal. 115 (3): 1195–1199. Bibcode:1998AJ....115.1195J. doi:10.1086/300263.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Karkoschka, Erich (2001). "Voyager's Eleventh Discovery of a Satellite of Uranus and Photometry and the First Size Measurements of Nine Satellites". Icarus. 151 (1): 69–77. Bibcode:2001Icar..151...69K. doi:10.1006/icar.2001.6597.
  3. ^ a b c "Planetary Satellite Physical Parameters". JPL (Solar System Dynamics). 24 October 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Dr. David R. (23 November 2007). "Uranian Satellite Fact Sheet". NASA (National Space Science Data Center). Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Karkoschka, Erich (2001). "Comprehensive Photometry of the Rings and 16 Satellites of Uranus with the Hubble Space Telescope". Icarus. 151 (1): 51–68. Bibcode:2001Icar..151...51K. doi:10.1006/icar.2001.6596.
  6. ^ "Ophelia". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  7. ^ "Ophelia". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  8. ^ Smith, B. A. (1986-01-27). "Satellites and Rings of Uranus". IAU Circular. 4168. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  9. ^ Showalter, M. R.; Lissauer, J. J. (2003-09-03). "Satellites of Uranus". IAU Circular. 8194. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  10. ^ "Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. July 21, 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2006.
  11. ^ Esposito, L. W. (2002). "Planetary rings". Reports on Progress in Physics. 65 (12): 1741–1783. Bibcode:2002RPPh...65.1741E. doi:10.1088/0034-4885/65/12/201.

External links

  • Ophelia Profile by NASA's Solar System Exploration
  • Uranus' Known Satellites (by Scott S. Sheppard)
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