Aitne is a member of the Carme group, a family of Jovian satellites which have similar orbits and appearance and are therefore thought to have a common origin. The group probably began as a D-type asteroid (possibly from the Hilda family or the Jupiter Trojans) that suffered a collision, which broke off a number of pieces, either before or after being captured by Jupiter's gravity. The largest remaining chunk (still retaining 99% of the group's mass) was named "Carme," and the smaller pieces became the other 16 moons in the Carme group.
All of the Carme moons are retrograde, which means that they orbit Jupiter in the opposite direction from the planet's rotation. Their orbits are also eccentric (elliptical rather than circular) and highly inclined with respect to Jupiter's equatorial plane. They all are very similar in color -- light red -- except for Kalyke, which is considerably redder than the others. All of these characteristics support the idea that the Carme satellites began as a captured asteroid, rather than forming as part of the original Jupiter system. None of the Carme members is massive enough to pull itself into a sphere, so they are probably all irregularly shaped.
Aitne has a mean radius of about 1.5 km. At a mean distance of about 23.2 million km from Jupiter, the satellite takes about 730 Earth days to complete one orbit.
Aitne was discovered on 9 December 2001 by Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt and Jan T. Kleyna at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii.
How Aitne Got its Name
Originally called S/2001 J11, Aitne was named for a Sicilian nymph said to have been raped by the Roman god Jupiter, while he was in the form of a vulture. The name derives from the Greek for "I burn," and is associated with Sicily's volcano, Mount Etna.
Satellites in the Jovian system are named for Zeus/Jupiter's lovers and descendants. Names of outer satellites with a prograde orbit generally end with the letter "a" (although an "o" ending has been reserved for some unusual cases), and names of satellites with a retrograde orbit end with an "e."