moon·​let | \ ˈmün-lət How to pronounce moonlet (audio) \

Definition of moonlet

: a small natural or artificial satellite

Examples of moonlet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To test this possibility, NASA’s DART mission will soon send a spacecraft to deliberately crash into a 500-foot-wide moonlet locked into orbit with an asteroid called Didymos and attempt to change its trajectory. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Biggest Asteroid to Fly by This Year Will Zoom Past Earth Next Month," 5 Mar. 2020 But only ice appears sticky enough to glom together into moonlets properly, according to the new work, so future models may be able to focus on fleshing out the icier scenarios. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Did Uranus get smacked so hard it spun sideways?," 9 Apr. 2020 The previous moonlet orbited Earth in 2006 and 2007 before rejoining its fellow asteroids. Rebecca Boyle, New York Times, "A New Mini-Moon Was Found Orbiting Earth. There Will Be More.," 27 Feb. 2020 The spacecraft will travel for more than a year to the double asteroid Didymos, a 2,560-foot diameter main body orbited by a 525-foot satellite moonlet called Didymos B or Didymoon. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Spacecraft Will Follow NASA’s Asteroid-Smashing Mission to Measure the Effects of the Impact," 4 Dec. 2019 This has led to the formation of moons and moonlets, and considerable mass loss from the rings, Crida and his colleagues said. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "Saturn’s Rings May Be Ancient After All," 17 Sep. 2019 Small moonlets are forming from ring particles that coalesce together. Vahe Peroomian, The Conversation, "A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings," 14 Aug. 2019 Instead, the researchers found that Saturn's inner moons likely formed through a series of collisions between tiny moonlets, known as the pyramidal regime formation scenario. Charles Q. Choi,, "Here's Why Saturn's Inner Moons Are Shaped Like Ravioli and Potatoes," 22 May 2018 Sometimes the chunks collide and coalesce into objects large enough to be called moons or at least moonlets. Steven Austad,, "Obituary for a star," 30 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moonlet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of moonlet

1832, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of moonlet was in 1832

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Cite this Entry

“Moonlet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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