No planet has as many moons as Saturn

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from: Tanya Banner

Saturn. © Imago / NASA

A research team discovered 62 new moons around Saturn. This makes it the first planet in the solar system to have more than 100 moons.

Taipei – For many years, there has been a kind of competition in the solar system: which planet has more moons – Saturn or Jupiter? last Jupiter managed to bypass Saturn with 92 known moons, which previously held the solar system record with 83 confirmed moons. Now, however, the race could be set for a long time: a research team discovered 62 new moons in orbit around Saturn – bringing The Lord of the Rings’ total of 145 known moons and allowing it to pull away in competition with Jupiter.

Thanks to an image processing method used for the first time on Saturn, a research team led by astronomer Edward Ashton (Academy Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan) has discovered 62 new moons. For this purpose, images of Saturn’s environment were taken using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii, which were then processed using the “shift and jam” method. By swapping and stacking several consecutive images taken over a three-hour period, the research group was able to locate moons of Saturn up to 2.5 kilometers in diameter.

Land 1
Mars 2
Neptune 14
Uranus 27
Jupiter 92
Saturn 145

Searching for new moons of Saturn: like a children’s game “dot to dot”

However, it is not enough to detect the moon near a planet – after all, it could be an asteroid passing nearby. As a general rule, the moon’s nominals are observed over and over for several years to determine its orbits. “Tracking these moons reminds me of the kids’ game ‘point to point,’ because we need to correlate the different shapes of these moons in our data into a usable orbit,” Edward Ashton explains in one communication. Finding the Moons is comparable “with about 100 different games on the same page and you don’t know which dot belongs to which puzzle”.

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According to the research team, all of Saturn’s newly discovered moons are irregular moons. This refers to moons whose orbits are more extreme and their distances are greater than that of the regular moons. Research suggests that they were “captured” by Saturn’s gravity long ago. The ringed planet currently has 121 irregular and 24 regular moons recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Saturn is the first planet to have more than 100 known moons.

Saturn has the most moons – far more than Jupiter

The newly discovered moons of Saturn can be classified into three groups by the research team: the Gallic group, the Nordic group and the Inuit group. All of the group’s moons move in a similar orbit. The research assumes that the three groups are the result of collisions. A better understanding of the distribution of the moons in Saturn’s orbit could shed light on what happened in the past. The North Cluster, a group of moons orbiting Saturn versus the other moons, is said to have formed when an even larger moon erupted in the last 100 million years.

Researcher Brett Gladman (University of British Columbia), who helped discover the 62 new moons of Saturn, explains: “The more we push the limits of modern telescopes, the more evidence we find that a medium-sized moon orbiting retrograde Saturn exploded about 100 million years ago. year “.

Saturn and Jupiter can have “thousands” of moons

The discovery of Saturn’s moons may have just been the beginning: Researcher Ashton estimates there are “potentially thousands” of irregular moons around the planets Saturn and Jupiter. Uranus and Neptune could also have such moons – although their distance from the Sun makes them difficult to spot. Ashton believes that Saturn could have three times more moons than Jupiter Reverse The New York Times. Researchers are still not clear why this is the case. (unpaid bill)

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