Leda Transparent
Name of satellite Leda
Planet of origin Jupiter
Discovered by Charles Thomas Kowal
Date of discovery September 11, 1974
Location of discovery Mount Palomar Observatory
Surface color Dark gray
Mass 1.09 x 10^16 kg
Apogee 8.12 million miles
13 million km
Perigee 5.84 million miles
9.4 million km
Apoapsis 8.12 million miles
13 million km
Alternate name(s) Jupiter XIII
Named geographical features None

Leda, also known as Jupiter XIII, is a prograde irregular-shaped satellite belonging to the outer planet of Jupiter. This satellite was discovered by Charles Thomas Kowal on September 11, 1974, at the Mount Palomar Observatory. It is one the several satellites belonging to the Himalia group, a group of prograde irregular-shaped satellites with Himalia, which it is named after, being the largest satellite of the group. Leda is has the greatest distance from Jupiter. The other satellites in the group include Himalia, the largest, Lysithea, and Elara.In Brenda Hiatt's 2013 teen, science fiction themed romance novel, Starstruck, Rigel impresses Marsha with a telescope that clearly sees Leda. Rigel is in turn impressed that Marsha knows so much about the obscure Moon of Jupiter, to include that it was not even discovered until 1974.


Leda is believed to have been a stray asteroid from the Asteroid belt traveling in deep space. It was later pulled in by Jupiter's gravitational pull and was classified as a moon.


The surface of Leda is mostly a dark grey. Craters are scarce on the land and mostly are fill with valleys that are believed to be once filled with water. Other geographical features appear to be a lighter color than the rest of the surrounding area such as mountainous plateaus and mesas.


Leda is named after Leda, who was once the lover of Zeus, the Greek equivalent of Jupiter. Kowal sent the name he gave the satellite to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and they confirmed it in 1975.

Use in Fictional WritingEdit

In a 1956 British film titled "Fire Maidens from Outer Space" which was set on the thirteenth moon of Jupiter, which wasn't named Leda until nineteen years later. Strangely, Leda was not discovered until eighteen years after the film was published.

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