OCT 13, 2019 7:43 AM PDT

Astronomers Find At Least 20 More Moons Orbiting Saturn

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Just this past week, Saturn overtook Jupiter as the planet in our solar system with the highest number of moons. Researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have found at least 20 additional unidentified moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total up to 82 – a sure step up from Jupiter’s latest count at just 79.

If you’re wondering why astronomers didn’t know about these moons previously, it’s because they’re somewhat tiny, averaging just three miles in diameter. Earth is relatively far away from Saturn, which makes discerning these small objects a challenge, but astronomical equipment continues to improve over time, making it possible to identify Saturn’s additional moons.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, their orbits around Saturn aren’t all perfectly circular. Each one follows its own elliptical orbit around Saturn, and when shown in a computer model alongside all of Saturn’s other moons, it looks like something right out of a spin painting machine.

Given just how large both Jupiter and Saturn are, it’s likely that astronomers will continue to find moons orbiting both of the gas giant planets in the foreseeable future. But will Jupiter reclaim its crown as the planet in our solar system with the highest number of moons? Or will Saturn’s moon count only continue to grow beyond that of Jupiter?

An interesting question that we’ll just have to wait to learn the answer of…

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
JUN 30, 2020
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
Physicists often ponder in an unusual way: they use one unsolved problem as a hypothetic solution to another, hoping to ...
JUL 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
JUL 13, 2020
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
The moon may have hosted an ocean of magma for 200 million years according to new findings- considerably longer than pre ...
JUL 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
JUL 19, 2020
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
A recent study published in Scientific Reports sheds light on how our planet’s water could have first come to be. ...
SEP 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover New Kind Planet- an Ultrahot Neptune
SEP 22, 2020
Scientists Discover New Kind Planet- an Ultrahot Neptune
Scientists have identified a new kind of planet- an ‘ultrahot Neptune’, or a giant exoplanet that orbits its ...
OCT 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
How much radiation do super flares emit?
OCT 08, 2020
How much radiation do super flares emit?
Research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published in Astrophysical Journal contemplates the amount ...
NOV 24, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
NOV 24, 2020
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
Days ago, a new satellite was launched from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the ...
Loading Comments...