Jupiter may be the solar system’s chief, but Saturn has a huger entourage: Today, astronomers declared that they have found out 20 more moons along Saturn, giving rise to its total number to 82—the maximum for any planet in the solar system.
The huge haul comes just with a year after astronomers declared 12 new moons revolving Jupiter, but with the latest discoveries, Saturn’s retinue now exceeds Jupiter’s 79 known normal satellites. (Figure out our interactive atlas of moons.)
Taken jointly, these sets of fairly small moons could assist astronomers better comprehend the many collisions that occurred in the early solar system, and they could furnish ripe new flyby targets for future missions to the moisture giants.
One of the more sensational things about these exterior moons is that there are always goals going,” announces Scott Sheppard, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution for Science who co-founded both planets’ freshest moons.
Even now, three goals to Jupiter and Saturn are in the process: NASA’s Europa Clipper; NASA’s Dragonfly exploration; and the European Space Agency’s JUICE career.
“There are so many of these moons presently, there is almost ensured to be one of these moons somewhere close where the spacecraft arrives the Jupiter or Saturn climate,” Sheppard tells.
Saturn’s newly discovered moons are all-around three miles wide. They are so pale, they lie just about at the detection threshold for the Subaru telescope, aa capability atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano used in their finding.
That is why this finding was more than a decade in the construction. From 2004 to 2007, Sheppard and his colleagues utilized Subaru to take an incredibly close look in the region around Saturn to search for concealed moons.
While they did discern some intriguing degrees of light, they have attempted to verify that those pinpricks were, in fact, circling the Saturn.