Metis [MEE-tis] is the innermost known satellite of Jupiter. It was named after a Titaness who was a consort of Zeus (Jupiter). Metis and Adrastea lie within Jupiter's main ring and may be the source of material for the ring. Very little is known about Metis.
Discovered by Stephen Synnott
Date of discovery 1979
Mass (kg) 9.56e+16
Mass (Earth = 1) 1.5997e-08
Equatorial radius (km) 20
Equatorial radius (Earth = 1) 3.1358e-03
Mean density (gm/cm^3) 2.8
Mean distance from Jupiter (km) 127,969
Rotational period (days) ?
Orbital period (days) 0.294779
Mean orbital velocity (km/sec) 31.57
Orbital eccentricity 0.0000
Orbital inclination (degrees) 0.0000
Escape velocity (km/sec) 0.0253
Visual geometric albedo 0.05
Magnitude (Vo) 17.5
|Views of Metis|
Galileo Image of Metis
This image of Metis was taken by Galileo's solid state imaging system between November 1996 and June 1997. Although Metis was discovered by Voyager, it was no more than a point of light on images. This Galileo image is the the first image of the small moon that shows its irregular shape. Metis orbits Jupiter in the zone between the planet's ring and the larger Galilean satellites. The longest dimension of Metis is approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) across. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL)
This image of Metis was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on March 4, 1979. Metis is the small dark dot above the arrow. (Credit: Calvin J. Hamilton)
Family Portrait of the Small Inner Satellites of Jupiter
These images, taken by Galileo's solid state imaging system between November 1996 and June 1997, provide the first ever "family portrait" of the four small, irregularly shaped moons that orbit Jupiter in the zone between the planet's ring and the larger Galilean satellites. The moons are shown in their correct relative sizes, with north approximately up in all cases. From left to right, arranged in order of increasing distance from Jupiter, are Metis (longest dimension is approximately 60 kilometers or 37 miles across), Adrastea (20 kilometers or 12 miles across), Amalthea (247 kilometers or 154 miles across), and Thebe (116 kilometers or 72 miles across). While Amalthea, the largest of these four tiny moons, was imaged by NASA's two Voyager spacecraft in 1979 with a resolution comparable to what is shown here, the new Galileo observations represent the first time that Metis, Adrastea, and Thebe have been seen as more than points of light. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL)
Synnott, S. P. "1979J3: Discovery of a Previously Unknown Satellite of Jupiter." Science, Vol 212, 19 June 1981.
Synnott, S. P. "Orbits of the Small Inner Satellites of Jupiter." Icarus 58, 1984.
Copyright © 1997 by Calvin J. Hamilton. All rights reserved.