20 new moons of Saturn discovered

On 8th October 2019, 20 new moons of Saturn were discovered. With this Saturn has a total of 82 moons today. It is the highest of any planet in solar system. Till date Jupiter had the highest number of moons. It has 79 moons.

The moons of Saturn discovered are relatively smaller moons. The discovery was made at the Subaru telescope set up atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano.

Of 82 moons, 17 of them orbit in opposite direction. These moons take more than three years to complete their orbit. The moons were discovered by a team of astronomers led by Sheppard.

The newly discovered moons belong to Norse group. The Saturn’s Norse group of moons are retrograde irregular satellites. There are unique and different from other moons of the solar system. Their inclinations are between 136 degrees and 175 degrees. These moons are clusters formed from different parent body that Saturn captured. This might have happened during the early days of Solar System according to the astronomers who discovered the moons. The other moons belong to Gallic group. They are prograde moons that take less than 2 years to complete their orbit. Also they orbit in the same direction as that of Saturn.

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Categories: Science & Technology