Science

Discovery of 20 new moons puts Saturn ahead of Jupiter

Discovery of 20 new moons puts Saturn ahead of Jupiter”

The surface temperature is the highest among other planets in the solar system, but it isn't the closest to the sun. "Using some of the world's largest telescopes, we are now completing the inventory of small moons around giant planets", said Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute for Science and lead actor in this research. Saturn and Jupiter, with 161 between them, account for almost 80% of these. One of the newly discovered retrograde moons is the farthest known moon around Saturn. That beats Jupiter and its 79 moons. It is not yet clear, however, why Venus does not have a moon.

According to the researchers, each of the newly discovered moons is about 3 miles (5 km) in diameter. Each moon is only about three miles across, which is slightly larger than the width of Manhattan (at that size, it seems like a bit of a stretch to call them moons, but what do we know...).

A team led by Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institute of Science found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. Moons in the Inuit group are likely remnants of a much larger moon that broke into smaller pieces. The Carnegie Institution had a moon-naming contest for them; another is planned now for Saturn's new moons.

More Saturnian moons may yet be found. Sheppard said around 100 moons with a diameter of at least one mile are believed to be orbiting the planet - however, it will take greater telescopes to find these modest bodies, whose small size and outrageous separation makes them exceptionally hard to observe. Lastly we have the Gallic group, which are a group of four prograde outer moons. He also added that there is perhaps 100 tinier moons orbiting Saturn's, that are yet to be found. It probably took the scientific community so long to discover the twenty-odd moons circling Saturn is because of the great distance of the planet from the Earth.

The brand new moons got here to mild when the astronomers used a telescope in Hawaii over the previous few months. We also learn that 17 of them rotate in the opposite direction to the rotation of Saturn (retrograde orbits).

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Despite the naming guidelines in place, there are already out-of-bounds suggestions on Twitter for naming Saturn, including "Mooncricket" and "Moon Tae-il", in homage to the South Korean boy band singer.

While some of these baby moons may stay hidden for the moment, Sheppard said that they might see them if astronomers use a larger and more powerful telescope. "It is believed that a similar gas-and-dust disk surrounded Saturn during its formation", Sheppard said.

Last summer, a team of astronomers noted the presence of 12 new satellites around Jupiter. The outermost group, which includes two of the pro-grade moons, has an orbit angled at 46 degrees and are named after Inuit mythology. The contest opens Monday and will close on December 6.

Norse mythology: "Seventeen of the newly stumbled on moons are retrograde moons within the Norse group".



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