S/2003 J 12 is a natural satellite of Jupiter, and is one of the smallest known natural satellites in the Solar System. It was discovered by a team of astronomers from the University of Hawaii led by Scott S. Sheppard in 2003.
|Discovered by||Scott S. Sheppard et al.|
|Discovery site||Mauna Kea Obs.|
|Discovery date||8 February 2003|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 17 December 2020 (JD 2459200.5)|
|Observation arc||9.65 yr (3,525 d)|
|Earliest precovery date||10 December 2001|
|0.1441046 AU (21,557,740 km)|
|–1.77 yr (–646.64 d)|
|0° 33m 24.215s / day|
|Inclination||154.69036° (to ecliptic)|
S/2003 J 12 is about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) in diameter, and orbits Jupiter at an average distance of 21,600 Mm in 647 days, at an inclination of 155° to the ecliptic, in a retrograde direction and with an eccentricity of 0.366. It was initially thought to the innermost of the retrograde satellites of Jupiter, but recovery observations have shown that it is an ordinary member of the Ananke group.
This moon was considered lost until late 2020, when it was recovered in archival CFHT images from 2001-2011 by amateur astronomer Kai Ly. The recovery of the moon was announced by the Minor Planet Center on 13 January 2021.
We likely have all of the lost moons in our new observations from 2017, but to link them back to the remaining lost 2003 objects requires more observations a year later to confirm the linkages, which will not happen until early 2018. ... There are likely a few more new moons as well in our 2017 observations, but we need to reobserve them in 2018 to determine which of the discoveries are new and which are lost 2003 moons.