Twenty new moons have been discovered around Saturn, giving the ringed planet a total of 82, scientists mentioned Monday. That beats Jupiter and its 79 moons.
Scott Sheppard astronomer of the Carnegie Institution for Science stated that It was delightful to find that Saturn is the true moon king.
Our solar system’s giant planet, Jupiter, has the biggest moon. Jupiter’s Ganymede is nearly half the size of Earth. Saturn’s twenty new moons are minuscule, each hardly 3 miles in diameter.
Astronomers have much completed the inventory of moons as small as 3 miles around Saturn and 1 mile around Jupiter. Future big telescopes can be needed to see something smaller moon around the planets.
It’s harder to recognizing mini-moons around Saturn than Jupiter, Sheppard mentioned, given how much farther Saturn is.
“So seeing that Saturn has more moons though it’s difficult to find them, this shows just how many moons orbiting Saturn’s orbit over the time,” he wrote in an e-mail. These baby moons could have come from large parent moons that broke apart after Saturn formed.
17 of Saturn’s new moons orbit the planet in the opposite, or retrograde, direction. The other three circles in the same direction that Saturn rotates. To complete a single orbit of Saturn, it takes two to three years due to a far distance.
“These moons are the pieces of the objects that supported to form the planets, so by studying them, we’re learning about what the planets formed from,” Sheppard wrote.