Pasiphae, also known as Jupiter VIII, is a retrograde irregular-shaped satellite belonging to the planet of Jupiter. This satellite was discovered by Philibert Jacques Melotte on January 27, 1908 at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. It is the largest of the retrograde, or orbiting a planet opposite of the planet's rotation, satellites, yet it is the third largest irregular-shaped satellite, after Himalia and Elara, other satellites belonging to Jupiter.
Pasiphae is part of the Pasiphae group named after this satellite because it is the largest of this group. It is also named this because this satellite is a retrograde satellite, meaning it orbits its home planet backwards, and the other satellites in this group, including Sinope, are retrograde satellites. In fact, any satellite of Jupiter ending in the letter "e" is a retrograde satellite.
It is believed that Pasiphae was a stray asteroid from the Asteroid belt located between Mars and Pasiphae's home planet, Jupiter. After becoming stray, it was pulled in by Jupiter's strong gravitational pull.
The surface of Pasiphae is mostly full of dark valleys and craters. The surface color, grey, matches the color of most C-type, or carbonaceous, asteroids, which make up three-fourths of the Asteroid belt, supporting the evidence of it being a stray asteroid that was pulled in by Jupiter's strong gravitational pull.
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