Two views of Larissa, a dark, irregularly shaped moon of Neptune discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2.

Two views of Larissa, a dark, irregularly shaped moon of Neptune discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Discovery

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

Overview

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.

How Larissa Got its Name

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

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