Valetudo (moon)


Valetudo CFHT precovery 2003-02-28 annotated.gif
Precovery images of Valetudo taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on 28 February 2003
Discovered byScott S. Sheppard et al.
Discovery siteLas Campanas Obs.
Discovery date9 March 2016
Jupiter LXII
Named after
S/2016 J 2
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 17 December 2020 (JD 2459200.5)
Observation arc15.22 yr (5,558 d)
Earliest precovery date26 February 2003
0.1257974 AU (18,819,020 km)
+1.44 yr (+527.41 d)
0° 40m 57.274s / day
Inclination32.03294° (to the ecliptic)
Satellite ofJupiter
Group(own group)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
1 km[3]

Valetudo /væləˈtjd/, also known as Jupiter LXII and originally known as S/2016 J 2, is a moon of Jupiter.[4][5] It was discovered by Scott S. Sheppard and his team in data acquired by the 6.5-m Magellan-Baade telescope of the Las Campanas Observatory in 2016, but was not announced until 17 July 2018, via a Minor Planet Electronic Circular from the Minor Planet Center, which also reported the discovery of nine other Jupiter moons.[1] Besides data from Las Campanas, the original announcement also referred to data acquired through the 8.1-m Gemini North telescope — of the Mauna Kea Observatories — as well as the 4.0-m reflector of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.


Visualization of the orbits of Jupiter moons. Valetudo's orbit is depicted in green, moving clockwise.

Valetudo has a diameter of about 1 km (0.6 mi) and orbits Jupiter at a distance of about 19 million kilometres (12 million miles). Its orbital inclination is 34 degrees, and its orbital eccentricity is 0.222.[3] It has a prograde orbit which takes almost a year and a half to complete, but it crosses paths with several other moons that have retrograde orbits and may in the future collide with them.[6]


The moon was provisionally designated as S/2016 J 2 until it received its name in 2018. The name Valetudo ('Health') was proposed for it as part of its announcement, after the Roman goddess of health and hygiene (a Latin translation of Greek Hygieia 'Health') and a great-granddaughter of the god Jupiter.[6] The name was approved by the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature on 3 October 2018.[7]


  1. ^ a b "MPEC 2018-O09 : S/2016 J 2". Minor Planet Center. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  2. ^ "M.P.C. 128893" (PDF). Minor Planet Circular. Minor Planet Center. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Sheppard, Scott S. "Moons of Jupiter". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  4. ^ Resnick, Brian. "The Jupiter Satellite and Moon Page". Vox. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  5. ^ Grush, Loren. "Astronomers have found a new crop of moons around Jupiter, and one of them is a weirdo". The Verge. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b Strickland, Ashley. "12 new moons discovered around Jupiter". CNN International. CNN. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  7. ^ USGS Astrogeology Science Center, Nomenclature News: Name Approved for Jovian Satellite: Valetudo