Nowadays, astronomers discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter, providing the total number of moons discovered so far at 92.
That is more than every other world in the solar energy system. The one-time leader, Saturn, comes in 2nd place with 83 confirmed moons.
The Jupiter moons have been added just recently to a list maintained by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, said Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution, who was part of the team.
They had been found in 2021 and 2022 using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, and their orbits happened to be established with ensuing observations.
Sheppard stated probably the newest moons range in size from 0.6 miles to 2 miles.
“I hope we can image one of these outer moons close-up in the near future to better figure out their origins,” he said in an email Friday.
The European Space Agency will send a probe to Jupiter in April to study the planet and several of its biggest moons. Next year, NASA is going to launch the Europa Clipper to explore the moon of Jupiter’s called moon, which might harbor an ocean beneath its frozen crust.
Sheppard – who discovered a slew of moons around Saturn a couple of years ago and has participated in 70 moon discoveries up to now around Jupiter – expects to go on adding to the lunar total of each gas giants.
Both Jupiter and Saturn are loaded with small moons, believed to be fragments of bigger moons which once collided alongside one another or with asteroids or comets, Sheppard said. Precisely the same holds true for Neptune and Uranus, but since they are really distant, moon spotting is much tougher.
To date, Uranus has confirmed twenty seven moons, Neptune 14, Mars two , and Earth one. Mercury and Venus both end up out of nowhere.
Newly discovered planets of Jupiter have not been named. Sheppard pointed out only one half of them had been large enough to warrant a name, more than 1 mile. The 4 largest moons of Jupiter are known as Galilean satellites, named after the Galileo Galilei who initially observed them.
Last September, Jupiter along with its planets made their closest approach to Earth in six years.
Just last month, a significant study found unforeseen patterns in the way temperatures of Jupiter’s belts and zones change with time.