In a recent change, Jupiter is once again the planet with the largest number of moons known to humanity in the Solar System. The truth is the result of the discovery of 12 new celestial bodies orbiting the gas giant.
The planet lost its lead to Saturn in 2019, but returned to the top spot on the podium. In total, there are 92 natural satellites against 83 in second place. The census is done by the Minor Planets Center of the International Astronomical Union, which is responsible for records.
Professor and astronomer Scott Sheppard was responsible for this change in ranking. Working at the Carnegie Institute for Science, he was looking for the hypothetical Planet Nine that would orbit the outer region of the solar system.
It was then that Jupiter got in the way of telescopes, boasting of the abundance of its moons. Using telescopes with higher resolution magnification and a wider field of view, the British research group was able to identify celestial objects.
According to the professor, on a note, it is not strange that we have just discovered such objects. The moons found are small, 1 to 3 kilometers across, and the light they reflect is shadowed by the huge planet they orbit.
Like most of Jupiter’s other moons, new moons are retrograde in opposition to the planet’s rotation. This is an indication that they were caught by the giant’s gravity.
The bodies have yet to be named, but their confirmation puts Jupiter at the head of the solar system’s moon number. However, researchers agree that there must be many other unknown moons on this planet, such as Saturn and even the most distant gaseous moons, Neptune with 14 currently registered and Uranus with 27 registered.
Source: Tec Mundo
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