Albiorix (pronounced /ˌælbiˈɔrɨks/ AL-bee-OR-iks is a prograde irregular satellite of Saturn. It was discovered by Holman, et al. in 2000, and given the temporary designation S/2000 S 11.[5][6] [7]

Albiorix is the largest member of the Gallic group of irregular satellites.

It was named in August 2003[8] for Albiorix, "a Gallic giant who was considered to be the king of the world."[9] The name is known from an inscription found near the French town Sablet which identifies him with the Roman god Mars (an interpretatio romana).[10]
Irregular prograde groups of satellites of Saturn: Gallic (red) and Inuit (blue)

Albiorix orbits Saturn at a distance of about 16 Gm and its diameter is estimated at 32 kilometers, assuming an albedo of 0.04.

The diagram illustrates its orbit in relation to other prograde irregular satellites of Saturn. The eccentricity of the orbits is represented by the yellow segments extending from the pericentre to the apocentre.

Given the similarity of the orbit's elements and the homogeneity of the physical characteristics with other members of the Gallic group, it was suggested that these satellites could have a common origin in the break-up of a larger moon[4][7].

Varying colours revealed recently suggest a possibility of a large crater, leading to an alternative hypothesis that Erriapus and Tarvos could be fragments of Albiorix following a near break-up collision with another body.[11]

On 2010 July 31, the Cassini-Huygens mission will take light-curve data.[12]


1. ^ Discovery Circumstances (JPL)
2. ^ Mean orbital parameters from JPL
3. ^ a b Scott Sheppard pages
4. ^ a b Grav, T.; Holman, M. J.; Gladman, B. J.; Aksnes, K.; Photometric survey of the irregular satellites, Icarus, 166 (2003), pp. 33-45
5. ^ IAUC 7545: S/2000 S 11 December 19, 2000 (discovery)
6. ^ MPEC 2000-Y13: S/2000 S 11 December 19, 2000 (discovery and ephemeris)
7. ^ a b Gladman, B. J.; Nicholson, P. D.; Burns, J. A.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Marsden, B. G.; Holman, M. J.; Grav, T.; Hergenrother, C. W.; Petit, J.-M.; Jacobson, R. A.; and Gray, W. J.; Discovery of 12 satellites of Saturn exhibiting orbital clustering, Nature, 412 (July 12, 2001), pp. 163–166
8. ^ IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus August 8, 2003 (naming the moon)
9. ^ "Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
10. ^ Maier, Bernhard, Dictionary of Celtic religion and culture (1997), p. 11.
11. ^ Grav, T.; and Bauer, J.; A deeper look at the colors of Saturnian irregular satellites
12. ^ Ciclops: Rev135: Jul 15 - Aug 4 '10

* Ephemeris from IAU-MPC NSES

External links

* David Jewitt pages

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