This is a composite image of the small moons of Saturn.
Click on image for full size

Small Moon

A small moon is a moon which is hard to see. The pictures of these moons are often fuzzy. This makes it hard to know anything specific about these moons. Small moons are about the size of a city.

As the cameras we send into space improve so will the pictures we take of these small moons. Here's an example of a picture of a small moon - Saturn's moon Helene which is only 10 miles across. It is still difficult to say anything about small moons because the images are so fuzzy. As images improve, we'll have a better understanding of what small moons are made of.

Right now, scientists believe that most small moons are also icy moons, meaning that they seem to be composed of ice. For example, Uranus' moon Miranda which is small, only 200 miles across, but seems to be made of ice.

You might also be interested in:


Helene was discovered by the French astronomers Pierre Laques, Raymond Despiau and J. Lecacheux on February 29, 1980. Even though Helene is so far away, they were able to make their discovery at an observatory...more


Miranda was discovered by G. Kuiper in 1948. It has a standoff distance of 129,780 km. Miranda one of the smallest icy moons, and is as wide as the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco, being 47...more

Saturn Holds Title for Most Moons!

In October 2000, a group of astronomers announced their discovery of 4 new moons of Saturn. This means Saturn now has 22 moons while Uranus only has 21. For now, the names of these new moons are S/200...more

Saturn Holds Title for Most Moons! (Updated)

In October 2000, a group of astronomers led by Brett Gladman of France's Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur and JJ Kavelaars of McMaster University in Canada announced their discovery of 4 new moons of Saturn....more

Jupiter's Moons and Rings

Jupiter has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('jupiter'); moons and a ring system. The four Galilean satellites; Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are among...more


Nereid was discovered by G. Kuiper in 1949. Of the 8 moons it is the farthest from Neptune, with a standoff distance of 5,513,400 km. Nereid is one of the small moons, and is about as long as the distance...more


Hyperion was discovered by W. Bond in 1848. Hyperion is the 3rd farthest moon from Saturn, with a standoff distance of 1,481,000 km. Hyperion is 175 x 100 km (117 x 67 miles) in size. Its dimensions make...more

Saturn's Moons and Rings

The gas giant planet Saturn has a large group of // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('saturn'); moons. It also has the largest, most complex, and best-known ring...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA