This diagram illustrates the largest irregular satellites of Jupiter. Among the Pasiphae group, Sinope and Pasiphae itself are labelled. An object's position on the horizontal axis indicates its distance from Jupiter. The vertical axis indicates its inclination. Eccentricity is indicated by yellow bars illustrating the object's maximum and minimum distances from Jupiter. Circles illustrate an object's size in comparison to the others.
Core members of the group include (from the largest to the smallest):
The Pasiphae group is believed to have been formed when Jupiter captured an asteroid which subsequently broke up after a collision. The original asteroid was not disturbed heavily: the original body is calculated to have been 60 km in diameter, about the same size as Pasiphae; Pasiphae retains 99% of the original body's mass. However, if Sinope belongs to the group, the ratio is much smaller, 87%.
Unlike the Carme and Ananke groups, the theory of a single impact origin for the Pasiphae group is not accepted by all studies. This is because the Pasiphae group, while similar in semi-major axis, is more widely dispersed in inclination.[note 1] Alternatively, Sinope might be not a part of the remnants of the same collision and captured independently instead. The differences of colour between the objects (grey for Pasiphae, light red for Callirrhoe and Megaclite) also suggest that the group could have a more complex origin than a single collision.
This diagram compares the orbital elements and relative sizes of the core members of the Pasiphae group. The horizontal axis illustrates their average distance from Jupiter, the vertical axis their orbital inclination, and the circles their relative sizes.
This diagram compares the wide dispersion of the Pasiphae group (red) with the more compact Ananke (blue) and Carme (green) groups.
^Nesvorný 2003, concurring on the Ananke and Carme groups, lists only Megaclite for Pasiphae. However, secular resonances, known for both Pasiphae and Sinope, could shape the orbits and provide the explanation for the post-collision dispersal of the orbital elements.