Friday 24 January 2020

Jupiter’s moon count rises to 79 following new discoveries by astronomers

Among the newly-discovered satellites is an ‘oddball’ with a strange orbit.

Nasa photo of Jupiter (Nasa/PA)
Nasa photo of Jupiter (Nasa/PA)

By Emiliano Rodriguez Mega

Jupiter’s moon count is rising after the discovery of a dozen new satellites circling the giant gas planet.

The find brings the number of moons at Jupiter to 79, the most of any planet in the solar system.

Saturn is next with 61.

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Jupiter and Mars appear side-by-side in the sky, above Wicken Fen nature reserve (Joe Giddens/PA)

Astronomers were looking for objects on the fringes of the solar system when they spotted the Jupiter moons.

They found a dozen small moons.

The confirmation of 10 was announced on Tuesday while two were confirmed earlier.

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A deep sky image from the Hubble Space Telescope (Nasa/PA)

Scientists are calling one moon an “oddball” because of its unusual orbit.

The scientists say the moons were not seen before because they are tiny, the biggest ones only about two miles across.

Telescopes in Chile, Hawaii and Arizona were used for the discovery and confirmation.

PA Media

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