Aitne is a retrograde moon
A retrograde moon is one that moves in the opposite direction to that its parent planet is moving as it orbits the sun. A retrograde orbit is one of the main characteristics of Aitne and the other members of the Carme group as they all take up this form of orbit moving through their passage around Jupiter. The retrograde movement of Aitne is thought to have been caused by the collision taking place when its parent asteroid, Carme moved into the orbit of Jupiter.
A fragment of Carme
The majority of Jupiter’s moons were formed by the massive gravitational pull of the planet that is a failed star moving around our Sun sucking large asteroids into orbit. The formation of Aitne was thought to have taken place when the large asteroid, Carme was sucked into Jupiter’s orbit and collided with another object in space. Some astronomers believe Carme collided with another object in space before being sucked into Jupiter’s orbit and others believe the collision took place after the asteroid arrived in Jupiter’s orbit. Aitne is a small piece of the asteroid Carme that remains with around 99 percent completion in Jupiter’s orbit. The close relative of Aitne, Kalyke is the only one of the members of the Carme group that may not have been born from the larger asteroid as it is a deeper red color than the other members of the group.
A small moon of Jupiter
The moon, Aitne is a small moon of Jupiter that measures around 1.5 kilometers in radius and around three kilometers in diameter. after being discovered, the calculations made about the size and shape of Aitne show it is an irregular shape as it is too small to be affected by the gravitational pull of Jupiter to become the classical spherical shape.
The characteristics of Aitne
Aitne is a small, irregular moon that fits into the characteristics of the other members of the Carme group. One of the most common aspects of the Carme group is its light red coloring that is commonly seen through most of the moons within the group.
Discovering the Aitne moon
The discovery of the moon known as Aitne was made on December 9, 2001, when the astronomical team from the University of Hawaii. The team at Mauna Kea Observatory was headed by Scott S. Shepherd, David C. Jewitt, and Jan Kleyna who discovered a number of small moons during the first years of the first decade of the 21st-century.
Where did Aitne get its name?
The Roman God Jupiter lends his name to the largest planet in the solar system with the moons of the planet taking on the names of Greek mythology. The name Aitne comes from a Sicilian nymph that was involved with Jupiter. All moons in a retrograde orbit are given names ending in the letter ‘e’ to make them easily identifiable to astronomers.