Now Saturn has overtaken Jupiter in case of moons, and the credit goes to 20 newly discovered moons. Scientists have found the latest fleet of natural satellites around the planet with rings, which has boosted Saturn’s total satellites to 82. The number marks three more than Jupiter as it has 79 moons. As per a press release of Carnegie Institution for Science, researchers want people to help them in the naming process of new moons. So you can help to name those new moons. The story does not end here. An astronaut at the Carnegie Institution for Science Scott Sheppard surmises Saturn has around 100 moons. But the remaining ones are so tiny that they are difficult to identify.
Apart from that, the newly-discovered moons are tiny and measure about 3 miles throughout. Notably, 85% of them, i.e., seventeen moons, have a reverse orbit. It means those moons revolve around Saturn in the direction contrary to the planet’s rotation. They are often referred to as retrograde moons. Scientists say it takes more than three earth days for these 17 moons to complete one Saturn round.
On the other hand, the remaining three moons remain in the same direction as the planet with a ring moves on. Two of the prograde moons are near to the planet. Besides, it takes around two years for both to complete one round around the planet. While the remaining one prograde moon takes time as much as retrograde moons to finish one revolution. Sheppard said analyzing revolution paths of these moons can show their sources. Even more, the analysis will offer information about the circumstances around Saturn at its birth. Sheppard and his team have found the new moons using the Subaru telescope present on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, Hawaii. Sheppard said they are using some of the largest telescopes worldwide to complete the list of small satellites around the giant planets. He noted telescopes play a key role in assisting them in shedding light on the formation of the solar system.