Discovery

Skoll was discovered on March 6, 2006, by Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt and Jan T. Kleyna using the Subaru 8.3-m reflector telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Overview

Skoll has a mean radius of 1.9 miles (3 kilometers), assuming an albedo (a measure of how reflective the surface is) of 0.04. It orbits Saturn at an inclination of about 160 degrees and an eccentricity of about 0.5. At a mean distance of 11.0 million miles (17.7 million kilometers) from Saturn, the moon takes about 878 Earth days to complete one orbit.

Skoll is a member of the Norse group of moons. These "irregular" moons have retrograde orbits around Saturn — traveling around in the opposite direction from the planet's rotation. Skoll and the other Norse moons also have eccentric orbits, meaning they are more elongated than circular.

Like Saturn's other irregular moons, Skoll is thought to be an object that was captured by Saturn's gravity, rather than having accreted from the dusty disk that surrounded the newly formed planet as the regular moons are thought to have done. Skoll appears to be a member of a subgroup that also includes Skathi, Hyrrokkin, S/2006 S1, Bergelmir, Farbauti, S/2006 S3, and Kari.

How Skoll Got Its Name

Originally called S/2006 S8, Skoll was named for a giant wolf in Norse mythology, who pursues the sun (that is, the sun chariot and the girl who drives it — see Mundilfari for an explanation) across the sky. It is destined to catch and devour them at the doomsday time known as Ragnarok.

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