National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Galatea: Overview
   Back to Neptune   Overview   Gallery   Facts & Figures   News 
Fuzzy image of Galatea and a faint ring arc.
A Voyager 2 image showing newly-discovered Galatea (then designated S/1989 N 4) and ring arcs orbiting Neptune.

Galatea is another of Neptune's tiny moons. Small and irregularly-shaped like Despina, Galatea orbits in the same direction as Neptune and is relatively close to the gas giant's equatorial plane. The small moon's gravity is believed to cause disturbances in Neptune's ring system. It was found in the same month scientists discovered ring arcs, or partial rings, that were suspected to exist around Neptune.

Galatea circles Neptune every 10 hours and 18 minutes.

Galatea was discovered in July 1989 by the Voyager 2 science team.

How Galatea Got its Name:
Moons of Neptune are named for characters from Greek or Roman mythology associated with Neptune or Poseidon, or the oceans. Irregular satellites are named for the Nereids, daughters of Nereus and Doris and the attendants of Neptune.

Galatea was a sea nymph who attended to Poseidon (the Roman god Neptune). The nymphs are also known as the Nereids. The moon was originally designated S/1989 N 4.

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  61,953 km
Mean Radius:  88.0 km
Volume:  2,854,543 km3
Mass:  3,746,671,082,742,980,000 kg
22 Jan 2003: 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 12 Aug 2013