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Larissa: Overview
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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.

Discovery:
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
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Mass:  4.9456 x 1018 kg
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Last Updated: 6 Feb 2014