87 Sylvia - Satellite System

Satellite System

Sylvia has two orbiting satellites. They have been named (87) Sylvia I Romulus and (87) Sylvia II Remus, after Romulus and Remus, the children of the mythological Rhea Silvia.

Romulus, the first moon, was discovered on February 18, 2001 from the Keck II telescope by Michael E. Brown and Jean-Luc Margot. Remus, the second moon, was discovered over three years later on August 9, 2004 by Franck Marchis of UC Berkeley, and Pascal Descamps, Daniel Hestroffer, and Jérôme Berthier of the Observatoire de Paris, France.

The orbital properties of the satellites are listed in this table. The orbital planes of both satellites and the equatorial plane of the primary asteroid are all well-aligned; all planes are aligned within about 1 degree of each other, suggestive of satellite formation in or near the equatorial plane of the primary.

Name Mass Semi-major Axis Orbital Period Eccentricity
Remus 7.3×1014 706.5 1.37 0.027
Romulus 9.3×1014 1357 3.65 0.006

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