Planet smashes record for most moons in solar system

Lazy eyes listen


According to astronomers, Jupiter has officially become the planet with the most moons in the solar system, with 92 now discovered, thanks to the discovery of 12 more natural satellites.

Saturn, the previous record-holder, has dropped to second place, with 83 confirmed moons orbiting it.

Jupiter’s newly discovered companions were recently added to a list maintained by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, according to Scott Sheppard of the Washington-based Carnegie Institution, who assisted in tracking the moons down.

The moons were discovered using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile in 2021 and 2022, respectively, but scientists needed to track their entire orbits to make the discovery official.

Sheppard stated that the new satellites range in diameter from 1km to 3km (0.6 miles to 2 miles). He added that only half of them will be named because they are smaller than the minimum diameter of 1.5km for naming.

Three moons moving in the same direction as the planet’s rotation were especially difficult to detect, according to the scientist in an earlier interview with the Sky and Telescope website. “They are closer to Jupiter, and the scattered light from the planet is enormous,” he explained.

According to Sheppard, the large number of small satellites orbiting Jupiter and Saturn are thought to be fragments of larger moons that collided or collided with comets.

“I hope in the near future we can image one of these outer moons close-up to better determine their origins,” he told AP.

In April, the European Space Agency will launch a spacecraft to study Jupiter and one of its largest moons, while NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s Europa satellite, which could harbor an ocean beneath its ice crust, is scheduled for 2024.