Image of Neptune Moon, Nereid.

Nereid was first seen by Gerard Kuiper in 1949 and was the last satellite of Neptune to be discovered before Voyager 2's discoveries in 1989. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Discovery

Nereid was discovered on May 1, 1949 by Gerard P. Kuiper with a ground-based telescope. It was the last satellite of Neptune to be discovered before Voyager 2's discoveries four decades later.

Overview

Nereid is one of the outermost of Neptune's known moons and is among the largest. Nereid is unique because it has one of the most eccentric orbits of any moon in our solar system. Nereid is so far from Neptune that it requires 360 Earth days to make one orbit. This odd orbit suggests that Nereid may be a captured asteroid or Kuiper Belt object or that it was greatly disturbed during the capture of Neptune's largest moon Triton.

How Nereid Got its Name

Nereid is named after the Nereids, sea-nymphs, in Greek mythology. Kuiper proposed the name when he reported his discovery.

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