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Space & Astronomy

Twelve new moons discovered around Jupiter

By T.K. Randall
July 17, 2018 · Comment icon 10 comments

Jupiter is now known to have at least 79 moons. Image Credit: NASA
The discovery means that the gas giant has a total of 79 moons - more than any other planet in the solar system.
The new moons, which include 11 'normal' moons and one 'oddball' with an unusual orbit, were discovered by astronomers who had been attempting to locate the enigmatic Planet Nine.

"Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant Solar System objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our Solar System," said team leader Scott S. Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC.

Unlike some of Jupiter's best known moons such as Europa and Ganymede, the new additions are all relatively small with diameters of between 1 and 3 kilometers.
The new 'oddball' moon, which has been named Valetudo after the Roman god Jupiter's great-granddaughter, has a peculiar prograde orbit that crosses the retrograde orbit of other moons.

"This is an unstable situation," said Sheppard.

"Head-on collisions would quickly break apart and grind the objects down to dust."

Source: Science Daily | Comments (10)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by -Nuke- 4 years ago
Wonder if the bigger the planet, the more gravity it has, so it's easier to attract debris moon's into orbit and hold then there, dunno
Comment icon #2 Posted by Torviking 4 years ago
Newton?s inverse square law works every time :).
Comment icon #3 Posted by Rolci 4 years ago
errrrrr.... yeah sure. What I wonder is how small they have to be before they stop calling them moons. I mean, I'm sure trillions of particles orbit each planet, each moon, etc. Wait, are electrons moons? :D
Comment icon #4 Posted by cyclopes500 4 years ago
What do they call a moon that orbits a moon?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Comment icon #6 Posted by flabbins 4 years ago
I don't know, What do they call a moon that orbits a moon? Better be a good joke.
Comment icon #7 Posted by TripGun 4 years ago
"All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there."- Dave
Comment icon #8 Posted by cyclopes500 4 years ago
A sub satellite. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/44-our-solar-system/the-moon/general-questions/104-can-moons-have-moons-intermediate
Comment icon #9 Posted by Almighty Evan 4 years ago
Could a Moon Have Moons?
Comment icon #10 Posted by ItsNothing 4 years ago
That shouldbe a mini moon. lmao

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