|Discovered by||Cassini Imaging Science Team|
|Discovered on||24 October, 2004|
|mean Semimajor axis||377,396 km|
|Orbital period||2.736915 d |
|Inclination||0.1774 ± 0.0015° |
|Is a satellite of||Saturn|
|Mean diameter||3.5 km|
|Mass||1 − 5 ×1013 kg|
|Rotation period||assumed synchronous|
Polydeuces (pol'-ee-dew'-seez, IPA /ˈpɑliˈdjuːsiz/, Greek Πολυδεύκης) is a very small natural satellite of Saturn that is co-orbital with Dione and librates around the trailing Lagrangian point (L5). Its diameter is estimated to be about 3.5 km..
Polydeuces was discovered on October 24, 2004 in images taken on October 21, 2004 by the Cassini imaging team and given the temporary designation S/2004 S 5. Subsequent searches of earlier Cassini imaging showed it in images as far back as April 9, 2004 . Polydeuces is also designated as Saturn XXXIV.
Of the known Lagrangian co-orbitals in the Saturn system, Polydeuces wanders the furtherest from its Lagrangian point. The libration takes it away from the L5 by up to 31.4° in the direction away from Dione, and 26.1° towards it with a period of 790.931 days (for comparison L5 trails Dione by 60°) . Polydeuces' libration is large enough that it takes on some qualities of a tadpole orbit, as evidenced by the clear assymetry between excursions towards and away drom Dione. In the course of one such cycle, Polydeuces' orbital radius also varies by about ± 7660 km with respect to Dione's .
The name Polydeuces was approved by the IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature on January 21, 2005. In Greek mythology, Polydeuces is another name for Pollux, twin brother of Castor, son of Zeus and Leda.
- The mean semi-major axis and period must be identical to Dione's.
- J.N. Spitale et al (2006). "The orbits of Saturn's small satellites derived from combined historic and Cassini imaging observations". The Astronomical Journal 132: 692.
- C. C. Porco et al. (2005), Cassini Imaging Science: Initial Results on Saturn's Rings and Small Satellites. Science 307 (5713): 1226-1236.
- Based on density 0.5 − 2 g/cm³
- C.D. Murray et al (2005). "S/2004 S 5: A new co-orbital companion for Dione". Icarus 179: 222.
- IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature
- IAUC 8432 (November 8, 2004)
- IAUC 8471 (January 21, 2005)
- Cassini news release on ring and moon discoveries, via Spaceflight Now (February 24, 2005)
|edit Saturn's natural satellites|
|Pan | Daphnis | Atlas | Prometheus | S/2004 S 6 | S/2004 S 4 | S/2004 S 3 | Pandora | Epimetheus and Janus|
|Mimas | Methone | Pallene | Enceladus | Telesto, Tethys, and Calypso | Polydeuces, Dione, and Helene | Rhea|
|Titan | Hyperion | Iapetus | Kiviuq | Ijiraq | Phoebe | Paaliaq | Skathi | Albiorix | S/2004 S 11 | Erriapo | Siarnaq|
|S/2004 S 13 | Tarvos | Mundilfari | S/2004 S 17 | Narvi | S/2004 S 15 | S/2004 S 10 | Suttungr | S/2004 S 12|
|S/2004 S 18 | S/2004 S 9 | S/2004 S 14 | S/2004 S 7 | Thrymr | S/2004 S 16 | Ymir | S/2004 S 8|
|See also: Pronunciation key | Rings of Saturn | Cassini-Huygens | Themis|