National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Larissa: Overview
   Back to Neptune   Overview   Gallery   Facts & Figures   News 
Fuzzy black and white image showing two sides of Larissa.
Two views of dark, irregularly-shaped Larissa captured by Voyager 2.

Larissa is another of the small moons found near Neptune's faint ring system in 1989. Like Despina and Galatea, Larissa is irregularly shaped and heavily cratered.

Larissa's orbit is mostly circular, but it is slowly spiraling inward and may eventually impact Neptune's atmosphere, or the gas giant's tidal forces may break Larissa apart to form a planetary ring. The moon orbits Neptune in about 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Although it was initially spotted by H. Reitsema, W. Hubbard, L. Lebofsky, D. Tholen through the use of ground-based telescopes in 1981. Larissa was officially discovered in July 1989 by the Voyager 2 science team.

How Larissa 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.

Larissa was a nymph from Greek mythology. The moon was originally designated S/1989 N 2.

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  73,548 km
Mean Radius:  97.0 km
Volume:  3,822,996 km3
Mass:  4,945,605,829,220,740,000 kg
People Spotlight
Carl Sagan Carl Sagan
Astronomer Carl Sagan was often described as "the scientist who made the Universe clearer to the ordinary person." Read More...
22 Jan 2003: 
Science & Technology Features
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: 6 Feb 2014