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Space & Astronomy

Discovery of 12 new moons around Jupiter breaks Saturn's record

By T.K. Randall
February 9, 2023 · Comment icon 6 comments

Jupiter with one its largest moons - Europa - on the left. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 ESA
Jupiter's status as the planet with the most moons in our solar system has now officially been restored.
There is no denying that Jupiter is big - with a diameter 11.2 times that of the Earth, this iconic gas giant is 2.5 times the mass of all the other planets in our solar system combined.

When it comes to moons, Jupiter is no slouch either - up until 2019 it was believed to have 80 moons, cementing its place as the planet with the most moons, but then in October of that year astronomers discovered 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total up to 83.

Now, though, new observations have confirmed a further 12 moons around Jupiter, bringing its total up to 93 and once again cementing its place as king (at least for now).
While some of Jupiter's moons are large and would likely be considered planets themselves if they directly orbited the Sun, most of them are quite small - some being only a few kilometers in diameter.

Out of those that were newly discovered, 9 of them are retrograde (meaning that they orbit the planet backwards) and are situated far out from the gas giant, while the other 3 are slightly closer.

Astronomers believe that there could be several hundred more moons in orbit around Jupiter, just waiting to be discovered.

Finding names for them all, however, will likely be quite a task.

Source: Extreme Tech | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 1 year ago
Comment icon #2 Posted by Nicolette 1 year ago
I am still caught up on how they figured 80+20=83 and 83+12=93...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 year ago
They didn't, it doesn't say that anywhere. Where are you getting the +20 from? 83 is the number of moons around SATURN, not JUPITER.   From Still Water's article:   From Grim Reaper 6's article: So no one is adding 12 to 83 and the +20 seems to be a figment of you imagination.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Black Red Devil 1 year ago
Is there a minimum size standard to qualify and be proclaimed a moon?  Some could be small in size.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nicolette 1 year ago
So I missed that they were talking about both in a jumbled fashion. Relax you will get over it. "You imagination" is a little bit overboard though considering 80+12 still doesnt make 93. Maybe you should calm down and think about what you are trying to prove.
Comment icon #6 Posted by flying squid 1 year ago
There is no lower limit on what is considered a moon, as long as it orbits a (minor) planet. Very small moons are sometimes called moonlets.

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