Home Science Saturn has 20 new moons and you can help name them!

Saturn has 20 new moons and you can help name them!

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Twenty new moons have been found around Saturn, giving the ringed planet a total of 82, scientists said Monday. That beats Jupiter and its 79 moons.

“It was fun to find that Saturn is the true moon king,” said astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

If it’s any consolation to the Jupiter crowd, our solar system’s biggest planet – Jupiter – still has the biggest moon. Jupiter’s Ganymede is almost half the size of Earth. By contrast, Saturn’s 20 new moons are minuscule, each barely 3 miles (5 kilometres) in diameter.

Sheppard and his team used a telescope in Hawaii to spot Saturn’s 20 new moons over the summer. About 100 even tinier moons may be orbiting Saturn, still waiting to be found, he said.

Astronomers have pretty much completed the inventory of moons as small as 3 miles (5 kilometres) around Saturn and 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) around Jupiter, according to Sheppard. Future larger telescopes will be needed to see anything smaller.

It’s harder spotting mini-moons around Saturn than Jupiter, Sheppard said, given how much farther Saturn is.Read More..