A moonlet, minor moon, minor natural satellite, or minor satellite is a particularly small natural satellite orbiting a planet, dwarf planet, or other minor planet.

The 400-meter moonlet Earhart in Saturn's A Ring, just outside the Encke Gap
Another image of Earhart
Another moonlet named Bleriot
A moonlet named Santos-Dumont
A moonlet in Saturn's A ring

Up until 1995, moonlets were only hypothetical components of Saturn's F-ring structure, when the Earth passed through Saturn's ring plane. The Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory both captured objects orbiting close or near the F-ring. In 2004, Cassini caught an object 4–5 kilometers in diameter on the outer ring of the F-ring and then 5 hours later on the inner F-ring, showing that the object had orbited.[1]

Three different types of small moons have been called moonlets:

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Moonlet, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.