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Galatea

  1. In Greek mythology, Galatea ("she who is milk-white") was the name of a Sicilian Nereid loved by the Cyclops Polyphemus. She, however, loved a Sicilian youth named Acis, whom Polyphemus killed with a boulder in a jealous rage. Distraught, Galatea turned his blood into the river Acis in Sicily.
  2. Galatea was also the name of the maiden who was originally a statue carved by Pygmalion, created in the image of, and brought to life by Aphrodite. (See also Educating Rita for a modern-day version of this myth.)


Galatea is the fourth known moon of Neptune, named after the the Nereid of Greek legend. It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2 and very little is known about it. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up into a planetary ring or impact on Neptune's surface.

  • Orbital radius: 62,000 km
  • Diameter: 158 km
  • Mass: Unknown
  • Orbital period: 0.428745 days
  • Orbital inclination: 0.05°



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