How did Kallichore enter the orbit of Jupiter?
Kallichore is a small moo of Jupiter but astronomers do not believe it was originally formed alongside the huge planet. Instead, the majority of astronomers who have studied the characteristics of Kallichore believe it was once part of a much larger asteroid that traveled too close to the orbit of Jupiter and was captured. Kallichore is theorized to have once been part of the Carme moon that was a D-type asteroid from the Hilda family of asteroids or the Jupiter Trojans before entering the orbit of the planet. The theory states Carme struck another object and splintered into a number of pieces that orbit around Jupiter in close proximity to each other. It is not known if the collision affecting Carme and creating Kallichore took place in the orbit of Jupiter or earlier as the asteroid traveled through space.
A Retrograde Orbit
Kallichore is known to have a retrograde orbit that means the moon travels in the opposite direction to the spinning of Jupiter. All the members of the Carme group of moons share a retrograde orbit and have a red color. Kallichore and 15 of the 16 moons in the Carme group share a light red color with only Kalyke being a deeper red than its fellow members of the group.
Kallichore’s Distance from Jupiter
Stating an exact distance for the orbit of Kallichore as it travels around Jupiter is difficult as it does not move in a perfectly circular orbit. Instead, Kallichore moves in an eccentric orbit meaning its orbit is elliptical or more oval-shaped as it moves around Jupiter. An average distance calculation of how far away from Jupiter’s surface Kallichore sits has been made and estimates the Jovian moon is around 14.4 million miles from Jupiter as it completes its orbit. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and it takes a small moon such as Kallichore a long time to complete a single orbit with astronomers calculating its orbit takes 728 Earth days to complete.
How Large is Kallichore?
Kallichore is a small fragment of the larger moon, Carme with a radius of one kilometer or 0.6 miles. At this size, Kallichore is 1737.5 times smaller than the Earth meaning we know little about the surface of this moon.
How Was Kallichore Discovered?
At the start of the 21st-century, a team from the University of Hawaii made a concerted effort to identify many of the moons of Jupiter that began to be discovered through the work of Galileo in 1610. Scott S. Shepherd was the head of the team from Hawaii that used the Mauna Kea Observatory to make its observations of the objects in the orbit of Jupiter. Kallichore was officially identified by Scott S. Shepherd’s team on February 6, 2003.
Naming a Jovian moon
The moons of Jupiter generally have three names of an initial classification, their discovery number, and an official name with the International Astronomical Union. Upon its discovery, Kallichore was given the classification, S 2003/J11, and the discovery number, Jupiter XLIV. The official name of Kallichore was chosen in March 2005 and follows the tradition of naming the moons of Jupiter after characters from Greek mythology. In this case, Kallichore was a daughter of the Greek God, Zeus and is also described as a nymph who gained notoriety for nursing Dionysos.