Saturn Now Has The Highest Number of Moons In Our Solar System
Planet Saturn now has the highest number of moons. (Image Credit: BBC)
The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre on Monday, October 7, 2019, announced the discovery of 20 new moons orbiting the planet Saturn. And with this, Saturn now has the highest number of moons, 82, in our Solar System. It also means that, now, Jupiter is not the king of moons anymore. The largest planet has 79 moons.
The recently discovered moons of the ring planet were found using the Subaru telescope, which is in Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The team was led by Scott Sheppard of Carnegie Institution.
He said in a statement:
Using some of the largest telescopes in the world, we are now completing the inventory of small moons around the giant planets.
As per the scientists, every new moon that’s been discovered is about 3 miles (5 km) in diameter. Nearly seventeen moons orbit Saturn backward, or in other words a retrograde direction. It means that their movement is opposite to the ring planet’s rotation on its axis. The other three moons orbit in the same direction as Saturn.
Well, the most interesting news for those interested in planets and space is that the Carnegie Institution for Science is currently hosting a contest for people to come up with names for the newly found moons of Saturn. Also, the moons must be named after the greats from Norse, Inuit, or Gallic mythology.