Jupiter | .. . . o o O O      . . . .      . . . *

Sinope was for quite some time, the outermost discovered satellite of Jupiter. It was ninth discovered moon of Jupiter and discovered by Seth Nicholson in 1914 (who also later discovered Lysithea, Ananke, and Carme). It orbits 23,700,000 km (14,700,000 miles) away from Jupiter once every 758 days in a retrograde orbit. It masses 7.77 10^16 kg and has a diameter of 36 km.

Because of its retrograde orbit and and very high orbital inclination (153 degrees) it is suspected that Sinope and other irregular satellites were captured by Jupiter when it was rather young. It is suspected that Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae and Sinope are the remains of a single asteroid that was captured and then broke up. This is thought because all four of these moons are in rather unusual, but similar orbits - retrograde and high orbital inclination and are within a group. These objects also have a similar density.

Further out from Sinope are two small (3km and 7km across) satellites. Twenty-three moons of Jupiter have very boring names of the form S/YEAR J# - thus S/1999 J1 was the first satellite of Jupiter found in the year 1999. S/2000 J4 and S/1999 J1 are beyond the orbit of Sinope.

The name Sinope comes from a tradition established by Simon Marius (who also discovered the Galilean moons of Jupiter) based upon a suggestion of Kepler to name the moons of Jupiter after Jupiter's lovers in mythology. Continuing upon this tradition (though apparently running out of names - Jupiter wasn't able to get it on with her), Sinope (daughter of river god Asopos and Metope) was one of the women (technically, she was a naiad) who Zeus fall in love with. However, Zeus was tricked by her when he gave her a promise to fulfill her wish - to remain a virgin.


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