Nereid


Nereid
/near"ee id/, n.
1. (sometimes l.c.) Class. Myth. any of the 50 daughters of Nereus; a sea nymph.
2. Astron. a moon of the planet Neptune.
[ < L Nereid- (s. of Nereis) < Gk, s. of Nereís. See NEREUS, -ID1]

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In Greek mythology, any of the daughters of the sea god Nereus and of Doris, daughter of Oceanus.

The Nereids, who numbered 50 or 100, were depicted as young girls who inhabited any water, salt or fresh, and were benign toward humanity. They were popular figures in Greek literature. The best known were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon; Thetis, wife of Peleus (king of the Myrmidons) and mother of Achilles; and Galatea, a Sicilian loved by the Cyclops Polyphemus.

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      in Greek religion, any of the daughters (numbering 50 or 100) of the sea god Nereus (eldest son of Pontus, a personification of the sea) and of Doris, daughter of Oceanus (the god of the water encircling the flat Earth). The Nereids were depicted as young girls, inhabiting any water, salt or fresh, and as benign toward humanity. They were popular figures in Greek literature. The best known of the Nereids were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon (a sea and earthquake god); Thetis, wife of Peleus (king of the Myrmidons) and mother of the hero Achilles; and Galatea, a Sicilian figure loved by the Cyclops Polyphemus.

      third largest known moon of Neptune and the second to be discovered. It was detected photographically by the Dutch American astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper (Kuiper, Gerard Peter) in 1949. It is named after the numerous daughters, called Nereids, of the sea god Nereus in Greek mythology.

      Nereid has a diameter of about 340 km (210 miles). It revolves around Neptune with a period of just over 360 days in a highly elliptical orbit—the most eccentric of any known moon—that is inclined by more than 7° to the planet's equator. Its mean distance from Neptune is 5,513,400 km (3,425,900 miles), which is about 15 times farther from Neptune than the next closest known moon, Triton. Nereid is exceedingly faint, making observations with even the largest Earth-based telescopes very difficult. Thus, little is known about it, but reflectivity data returned by the U.S. Voyager 2 space probe in 1989 suggest a surface composition of ices and silicates. Nereid's odd orbit supports the hypothesis that its sibling Triton is an object that was captured by Neptune's gravity and whose billion-year-long “settling-in” process severely disrupted Neptune's original system of moons. On the other hand, Nereid itself may be a captured object that formed elsewhere in the solar system.

Ellis D. Miner
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nereid — Ne re*id, n.; pl. E. {Nereids}, L. {Nereides}. [L. Nereis, idis, Gr. Nhrei: s Nhrhi: s, Nhrhi: dos, a daughter of Nereus, a nymph of the sea, fr. Nhrey s Nereus, an ancient sea god; akin to nhro s wet, Skr. n[=a]ra water, cf. Gr. na ein to flow.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nereid — sea nymph, 1510s, from Gk. Nereis (gen. Nereidos), daughter of the ancient sea god Nereus, whose name is related to naros flowing, liquid, I flow (see NAIAD (Cf. naiad)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Nereid — ► NOUN Greek Mythology ▪ any of the sea nymphs, daughters of the old sea god Nereus …   English terms dictionary

  • Nereid — [nir′ē id] n. [L Nereis (gen. Nereidis) < Gr Nērēis (gen. Nērēidos) < Nēreus] Gr. Myth. any of the sea nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus …   English World dictionary

  • Nereid — Neptun II (Nereid) Nereid auf einer Aufnahme der Raumsonde Voyager 2 Zentralkörper Neptun Eigenschaften des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nereid — Sea nymph and Sea nymphs redirect here. For other uses, see Sea nymph (disambiguation). For other uses, see Nereid (disambiguation). Nereid riding a sea bull (latter 2nd century BC) In Greek mythology, the Nereids ( …   Wikipedia

  • nereid — /near ee id/, n. 1. any elongate cylindrical worm of the polychaete family Nereididae, including clamworms. adj. 2. of or pertaining to the family Nereididae. [1830 40; < NL Nereididae family name; see NEREID, IDAE] * * * In Greek mythology, any… …   Universalium

  • nereid — noun Etymology: New Latin Nereidae, from Nereis, a genus, from Latin, Nereid Date: 1840 any of a family (Nereidae) of chiefly marine polychaete worms; especially any of a genus (Nereis) of usually large often greenish worms • nereid adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nereid — noun Etymology: Latin Nereid , Nereis, from Greek Nēreid , Nēreis, from Nēreus Nereus Date: 1606 any of the sea nymphs fathered by Nereus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nereid — noun a) One of 50 sea nymphs who were attendants upon Poseidon (Neptune), and were represented as riding on sea horses, sometimes in human form and sometimes with the tail of a fish. b) A worm of the genus Nereid, having sharp retractable jaws… …   Wiktionary


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