OCT 13, 2019 07:43 AM PDT

Astronomers Find At Least 20 More Moons Orbiting Saturn

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
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
International Space Station Receives Three New Occupants
The International Space Station is back up to full capacity this weekend after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft successfully lofted Expedition 60 to the Earth-or...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Trio Brought Home Breakthrough Physics Prize for Their Work on Supergravity
Announced on July 6, 2019, the Selection Committee of Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physic has picked three theoretical physicists, Sergio Ferr...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
James Webb Space Telescope Will Help Astronomers Study the TRAPPIST-1 System
Just over two years ago, astronomers learned that the TRAPPIST-1 system played host to at least seven terrestrial Earth-like exoplanets. If that wasn&rsquo...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
All About NASA's Upcoming Plan to Explore Europa
Planetary scientists have been in search of potentially habitable worlds for years, and perhaps one of the most promising places we have yet to explore in...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Is the Milky Way Too "Gassy"?
Astrophysicists have long thought that our home galaxy the Milky Way has been constantly losing mass due to the escape of hydrogen gas. However, by observi...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
NASA Wants Visit Pluto and Beyond... Again
Most probably remember the historic moments in the Summer of 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the dwarf planet Pluto to capture the...
Loading Comments...