20 new moons found around Saturn, presently the solar system's 'moon king'

Red lines encircling a ball

The discovery was announced on Monday by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre.

"These moons are the remnants of the objects that helped form the planets, so by studying them, we are learning about what the planets formed from", Sheppard said. Saturn's moons range in size, from bigger than the planet Mercury to smaller than a sports arena, according to NASA. By contrast, Saturn's 20 new moons are minuscule, each barely 3 miles (5 kilometers) in diameter.

"Using some of the largest telescopes in the world, we are now completing the inventory of small moons around the giant planets", said Sheppard. "Because these new moons are on inclined orbits far from Saturn itself, we believe these new moons were captured by Saturn just after the planet formation process".

"So seeing that Saturn has more moons though it's hard to find them, this shows just how many moons orbiting Saturn's orbit over the time", he wrote in an e-mail.

Although in the case of the highest number of moons, Saturn may have surpassed Jupiter, but the largest moon still is with Jupiter.

17 of Saturn's new moons orbit the planet in the opposite, or retrograde, direction. The other three, which additionally take three years to circle the gas giant, orbit in prograde-the same path that Saturn rotates in. The new discoveries are cool in and of themselves, but ultimately, it's what they tell us about the solar system's formation that motivates Sheppard's search.

It's extra hard spotting mini moons spherical Saturn than Jupiter, Sheppard said, given how worthy farther Saturn is.

Jupiter, the gas giant, the fifth planet of the solar system, and the king of planets is no longer the king of the moons. That moon is believed to belong to the Gallic group-though it is possible it's an oddball with a unique origin story.

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Of the 20 new moons, 17 are orbiting the moon "backwards", that is, in a direction opposite to the planet's motion.

Seventeen of the newly discovered moons are retrograde moons in the Norse group. The retrograde moons also have orbits similar to moons found in the Norse group; these are probably also fragments of a larger moon. Nevertheless, you can voice your choice of names for the newly discovered Moons!

Last year Sheppard and Carnegie partnered to host a naming contest for the twelve moons he discovered around Jupiter, and it was successful enough to repeat.

Scientists were able to locate the new moons thanks to more robust computing power and better algorithms for tracking faint distant objects, Sheppard said.

The contest, which opened Monday and runs through December 6, is not entirely open, lest the American public be tempted to name the moons something ridiculous.

Inuit mythology: "Two of the newly stumbled on prograde moons fit real into a group of outer moons with inclinations of about 46 degrees called the Inuit group".

There was a group of first-year students from the MBA faculty, some students from Business Administration and Computer Science."I was pretty excited about tonight, as I kind of love that stuff to lookup close to the Moon and the planets", described one of the students from the Computer Science program.

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