Ten new moons—including one oddball—discovered around Jupiter

first_img Email Carnegie Institution for Science/Roberto Molar Candanosa By Paul VoosenJul. 17, 2018 , 10:00 AM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Jupiter’s orbital family has just rapidly expanded, with scientists today announcing the discovery of 10 new miniature moons around the gas giant. That brings its total known satellites to 79, the most in the solar system.The new moons, pictured as circles above, were discovered last year by a team of astronomers. After verification, they are being reported today by the International Astronomical Union, based in Paris. At the time, the researchers were searching for a theorized massive planet far beyond Pluto, known as Planet X or Planet Nine, which is thought to be tugging on the orbits of distant solar system objects. Although the scientists’ planet hunt has so far come up dry, the team, using the recently upgraded Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, also had Jupiter in view, leading to the discovery. Additional observations over a year confirmed the orbits of the moons, all of which are 3 kilometers or less in diameter.The moonlets mostly follow Jupiter’s known patterns: Located far beyond the planet’s large primary moons (purple), two of the new moonlets belong to a grouping (blue) that spins in the same direction as the planet, all of which are believed to be the fragments of one large shattered moon. Seven fall in a farther out “retrograde” cluster (red) rotating against the planet’s spin, their opposing path kick-started when ancient moons collided with comets, asteroids, or other moons. Ten new moons—including one ‘oddball’—discovered around Jupiter Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) But one moon, tentatively dubbed “Valetudo” (green), is an oddball, orbiting with Jupiter’s spin but within the retrograde cluster. The satellite, named for Jupiter’s great-granddaughter, could be a bit of unfinished business, the last remnant of the ancient moons that provided the grist for the retrograde cluster, the team theorizes. Its path weaving within the retrograde moons is unstable, they add; a collision, at some point, is likely. *Correction, 17 July, 10:30 a.m: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of new moons discovered. Although the team did discover 12 new moons, two were announced last year.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *