Cupid (pronounced /ˈkjuːpɪd/ KEW-pid) is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered by Mark Showalter and Jack J. Lissauer in 2003 using the Hubble Space Telescope.[3] It was named after a character in William Shakespeare's play Timon of Athens.[4]

It is the smallest of inner Uranian satellites, crudely estimated to be only about 18 km in diameter. This and the dark surface made it too dim to be detected by the Voyager 2 cameras during its Uranus flyby in 1986.

The orbit of Cupid differs only 863 km from the orbit of the larger moon Belinda. Amazingly, compared to Mab and Perdita, the recently discovered Uranian satellites, it does not seem to be perturbed.[1]

Following its discovery, Cupid was given the temporary designation S/2003 U 2.[3] It is also designated Uranus XXVII.[4]

It should not be confused with the asteroid 763 Cupido.


1. ^ a b Showalter, Mark R.; Lissauer, Jack J. (2005-12-22). "The Second Ring-Moon System of Uranus: Discovery and Dynamics". Science Express 311 (5763): 973. doi:10.1126/science.1122882. PMID 16373533.
2. ^ "Classic Satellites of the Solar System". Observatorio ARVAL. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
3. ^ a b Showalter, M. R.; Lissauer, J. J. (September 25, 2003). "IAU Circular No. 8209". Retrieved 2006-08-05.
4. ^ a b "Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. July 21, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-05.

External links

* Hubble Uncovers Smallest Moons Yet Seen Around Uranus – Hubble Space Telescope news release (25 September 2003)

Moons of Uranus

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