The Discovery of Kalyke
The moon of Kalyke was first identified on November 23, 2000, when astronomers at the University of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory identified a series of smaller moons around the rings of the planet. Kalyke was discovered as part of a search of the rings of Jupiter led by Scott S. Shepherd, David C. Jewitt. Yanga R. Fernandez and Eugene Magnier would reveal many of the moons that had previously remained hidden for centuries.
A Part of the Carme Group of Moons
Kalyke has been classified as part of the Carme group of moons that are believed to have a common origin. To date, more than 20 moons have been discovered with the original asteroid Carme thought to still be orbiting Jupiter with around 99 percent of its material still in place. Most astronomers believe Carme was dragged into orbit around Jupiter when it was an asteroid that traveled too close to the planet. It is not clear if a collision took place within the orbit of Jupiter or before leading to the material breaking apart and frming smaller moons such as Kalyke.
A Retrograde Orbit
The orbit of Kalyke is not a traditional circle but instead is described as eccentric. An eccentric orbit is best described as moving closer and further from the surface of Jupiter as the moon moves around the largest planet in our solar system. Kalyke moves in an orbit that is an average of 14.6 million miles from the surface of Jupiter taking around 742 Ear5th days to complete a single orbit of the planet. The orbit of Kalyke is retrograde, meaning the moon orbits in the opposite direction to the movement of the planet of Jupiter as it spins around the Sun. All the members of the Carme group of moons move in a retrograde orbit as part of the characteristics of the group of moons.
The Characteristics of Kalyke
The characteristics of the Jovian moon, Kalyke include its distinguishing deeper red color than the other members of the Carme group that are characterized by a lighter red color. The size and shape of Kalyke have been difficult to determine because of the brightness of Jupiter and the distance to the planet. Calculations have stated Kalyke is approximately 1.6 miles in radius with the shape of the moon remaining irregular because of its small nature.
Giving Kalyke its name
The naming of Kalyke has taken a number of steps to complete with the moon initially named by the team of astronomers discovering it as S 2000/J2. Jupiter’s moons are also numbered using roman numerals with Kalyke known as Jupiter XXIII before being given its official name. As with the other moons of Jupiter, Kalyke is named after a figure from Greek mythology, in this case, the mother of Endymion.