Neptune's moon Galatea and new ring arcs, or partial rings, were discovered in the same month by the Voyager 1 science team. Galatea was initially called S/1989 N4 until its discovery was confirmed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Discovery

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

Overview

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.

How Galatea Got its Name

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.

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