Chaldene was discovered Nov. 23, 2000 by Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt, Yange R. Fernandez, and Eugene Magnier at an observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.


Chaldene is a member of the Carme group, a family of Jovian satellites which have similar orbits and appearance and are therefore thought to have a common origin. The group probably began as a D-type asteroid (possibly from the Hilda family or the Jupiter Trojans) that suffered a collision which broke off a number of pieces, either before or after being captured by Jupiter's gravity. The largest remaining chunk (still retaining 99 percent of the group's mass) was named "Carme," and the smaller pieces became the other 16 moons in the Carme group.

All of the Carme moons are retrograde, which means that they orbit Jupiter in the opposite direction from the planet's rotation. Their orbits are also eccentric (elliptical rather than circular) and highly inclined with respect to Jupiter's equatorial plane. They all are very similar in color—light red—except for Kalyke, which is considerably redder than the others. All of these characteristics support the idea that the Carme satellites began as a captured asteroid, rather than forming as part of the original Jupiter system. None of the Carme members is massive enough to pull itself into a sphere, so they are probably all irregularly shaped.

Chaldene has a mean radius of about 1 mile (1.9 km). At a mean distance of about 14.3 million miles (23.1 million km) from Jupiter, the satellite takes about 724 Earth days to complete one orbit.

How Chaldene Got its Name

Originally called S/2000 J10, Chaldene was named for the mother of Solymos by Zeus, the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter.

A name ending in "e" was chosen in accordance with the International Astronomical Union's policy for designating outer moons with retrograde orbits.

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