Carme group

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The Carme group is a group of retrograde non-spherical moons of Jupiter that follow similar orbits to Carme and are thought to have a common origin.

Their semi-major axes (distances from Jupiter) range between 22,900,000 and 24,100,000 km, their inclinations between 164.9° and 165.5°, and their orbital eccentricities between 0.23 and 0.27 (with one exception).

This diagram illustrates the largest irregular satellites of Jupiter. The location of the Carme group is illustrated by Carme's presence in the lower middle. An object's position on the horizontal axis indicates its distance from Jupiter. The vertical axis indicates its inclination. Eccentricity is indicated by yellow bars illustrating the object's maximum and minimum distances from Jupiter. Circles illustrate an object's size in comparison to the others.

The core members include (from biggest to smallest):[1][2]

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) reserves names in -e for all retrograde moons, including this group's members.

This diagram compares the orbital elements and relative sizes of the core members of the Carme group. The horizontal axis illustrates their average distance from Jupiter, the vertical axis their orbital inclination, and the circles their relative sizes.

Origin[change | change source]

The Carme group may once have been a single body that was broken apart by an impact. Further support to the single body origin comes from the known colours: all the moons appear light red,[4] and infrared spectra, similar to D-type asteroids.[5]


This diagram shows the Ananke group on the same scale as the other diagram, illustrating its wide disperson in comparison with the compact Carme group (see related diagram).
This diagram shows the compactness of the Carme group.

References[change | change source]

  1. Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt, Carolyn Porco Jupiter's outer satellites and Trojans, In: Jupiter. The planet, satellites and magnetosphere. Edited by Fran Bagenal, Timothy E. Dowling, William B. McKinnon. Cambridge planetary science, Vol. 1, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-81808-7, 2004, p. 263 - 280 Full text(pdf).
  2. David Nesvorný, Cristian Beaugé, and Luke Dones Collisional Origin of Families of Irregular Satellites, The Astronomical Journal, 127 (2004), pp. 1768–1783 Full text.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Listed by Nesvorny 2004 as a possible member, not listed by Sheppard 2004; the orbital elements confirmed by Jacobson 2004
  4. Grav, Tommy; Holman, Matthew J.; Gladman, Brett J.; Aksnes, Kaare Photometric survey of the irregular satellites, Icarus, 166,(2003), pp. 33-45. Preprint
  5. Tommy Grav and Matthew J. Holman Near-Infrared Photometry of the Irregular Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn,The Astrophysical Journal, 605, (2004), pp. L141–L144 Preprint