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Solar System Exploration
Francisco: Overview
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Francisco is a very small, dark moon which orbits Uranus in the opposite direction from the regular moons and the planet's own rotation (a retrograde orbit). Though it orbits far from the planet (about 4.3 million km), it is the innermost moon of the irregular moons of Uranus.

Francisco was discovered on 13 August 2001 at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory by John J. Kavalaars, Matthew J. Holman, Dan Milisavljevic, and Tommy Grav.

How Francisco Got its Name:
Originally called S/2001 U3, Francisco was named after a character in William Shakespeare's play, "The Tempest." Francisco is a nobleman who is shipwrecked along with King Alonso (father of Ferdinand) and others. He attempts to comfort the king at the supposed loss of his son Ferdinand.

Moons of Uranus are named for characters in Shakespeare's plays and from Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock."

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  4,282,900 km
Mean Radius:  11 (assuming an albedo of 0.04) km
Volume:  5,575 km3
Mass:  8,392,543,225,344,280 kg
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Last Updated: 7 Mar 2011