20 new moons were discovered around Saturn

Share

"In the Solar System's youth, the Sun was surrounded by a rotating disk of gas and dust from which the planets were born".

Saturn just surpassed Jupiter as the planet with the most known moons, according to CNN. "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.

Sheppard and his team ran a similar contest earlier this year to name five newly discovered moons around Jupiter. Saturn and Jupiter, with 161 between them, account for almost 80% of these. The three other moons orbit in the prograde - or the same direction as the planet. It now has 82 known moons; Jupiter has 79. It is not yet clear, however, why Venus does not have a moon. Saturn's twenty new moons are minuscule, each hardly 3 miles in diameter.

The Carnegie Institution for Sciences is hosting a contest to come up with names for the newly discovered moons. For example, if a large moon broke apart to create the smaller moon clusters and interacted with gas and dust, they could have been drawn towards Saturn. Carnegie held a public contest to name five of those satellites, this time around it's soliciting entries for all 20 newly discovered moons around Saturn. "This type of grouping of outer moons is also observed around Jupiter, indicating that violent collisions have occurred between moons of the Saturnian system, or with external objects such as asteroids or comets", notes the researcher. Lastly we have the Gallic group, which are a group of four prograde outer moons. They could watch the moons orbiting Saturn moving against a backdrop of stars and galaxies that appear still due to their distance. 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 researchers observed the new moons with the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The other three circles in the same direction that Saturn rotates.

More news: USA envoy to testify in impeachment probe, against State Dept order
More news: United States takes custody of 2 high-profile IS militants
More news: Kenneth Cole Forms The Mental Health Coalition

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.

The rules mean two of Saturn's moons will have Canadian-inspired names - so start brushing up on your Inuit mythology. The Norse group is diverse, but the orbits and inclinations of the newest moons suggest they all originated from the same parent body.

"It was fun to find that Saturn is the true moon king", Sheppard told the Associated Press.

Two of the prograde moons are closer to the planet and take about two years to travel once around Saturn.

There was a group of first-year students from the MBA faculty, some students from Business Administration and Computer Science."I was pretty excited about tonight, as I kind of love that stuff to lookup close to the Moon and the planets", described one of the students from the Computer Science program.

Share