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New moon discovered around Neptune

Posted on Friday, 19 July, 2013 | Comment icon 22 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

Archive images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed a previously undiscovered moon.

The enigmatic object known as 'S/2004 N1' is the first new moon to be found around Neptune in over ten years. It was discovered by SETI's Mark Showalter who had been examining archive photographs of Neptune to study segments of its rings. The technique involved stacking together multiple short exposure images to help see the rings in more detail.

"I got nice pictures of the arcs, which was my main purpose, but I also got this little extra dot that I was not expecting to see," he said. The new moon is particularly perplexing because it is so small that it is incredible that it managed to survive the formation of Neptune's other moons. "The Neptune moons we see today were probably broken up and regenerated after the arrival of Triton," Showalter added.

"Neptune has a new moon, and its existence is an enigma."

  View: Full article |  Source: New Scientist

  Discuss: View comments (22)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 July, 2013, 21:01
So why post it in a thread about Neptune? It is, which is why there is already a thread about it: You don't think you can post it despite the fact that you posted it. That has me more than a little puzzled.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Ryu on 19 July, 2013, 21:20
It is amazing that bit by bit our knowledge of our solar system is being slowly rewritten as we discover more. THIS is what I like seeing our resources channeled towards. Discovering things, not more wars.
Comment icon #15 Posted by paperdyer on 19 July, 2013, 23:11
Waspie - I meant posting the story as a thread. I know I can post a link. Like the Neptune thread.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 July, 2013, 23:42
You should be able to do that, but nor whilst you are in another topic. Simply go to the relevant forum and towards the top of the page there should be a black button that says "Start new topic". Then post exactly as you would in an existing topic. The only real difference is that you have to fill in the topic title.
Comment icon #17 Posted by NatureBoff on 20 July, 2013, 3:11
Have you heard the phrase "gravitational kick" before in reference to shepherding moons? If so, can you please explain it to me please.
Comment icon #18 Posted by coolguy on 20 July, 2013, 3:49
Very cool find. The Hubble is the greatest thing ever made
Comment icon #19 Posted by Merc14 on 20 July, 2013, 4:20
It is truly amazing what our probes, that so many have complained about since they aren't manned, are baring so much fruit. Personally, as a man born in the 50's, I am in awe of the discoveries we have made with the incredible instruments NASA has put into space. If the Webb makes it, it will change everything. I guarantee that. Hubble is amazing and the rescue mission was an absolute heroic achievement at the the time. Curiosity on Mars kept me up until 3Am and I knew she had made it. What a mission and she has already exceeded her mission objectives, achieved all her goals and is n... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by AlienDan on 20 July, 2013, 5:39
Found a better pic of it: That's no moon...
Comment icon #21 Posted by Silver Surfer on 20 July, 2013, 7:14
Totally Agree... Check out this doco if you haven't and see how it was very nearly a huge disaster!
Comment icon #22 Posted by bison on 20 July, 2013, 13:03
The linked article briefly explains the concept, in the context of the Saturn system. Most of this is applicable to shepherding moons in general. In brief, momentum is conserved. It can be transferred from a shepherding moon to ring particles, or to another nearby shepherding moon, when they pass each other in their orbits. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=3451

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