No less than 20 new moons have been found orbiting the planet Saturn, reports say.
In a press release last week, the Carnegie Institute of Science confirmed the sighting of 20 new moons orbiting the beautifully ringed planet. Accordingly, Saturn now has the most number of moons in our solar system. In particular, it edges out Jupiter’s satellite listing, 82-79. Hence, as Jupiter owns the title of being king of the planets, Saturn becomes the queen of the moons.
A three-member team composed of Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard, UCLA’s David Jewitt, and University of Hawaii’s Jan Kleyna found the discovery. The scientists used the Subaru telescope in Hawaii to find the moons. In a rather similar strand, Sheppard also led a team last year that led to the finding of 10 new moons around Jupiter.
According to reports, the new moons are very small compared to the size of the planet they are orbiting. These moons are each about 5 kilometers in diameter. Due to its size, the majority of Saturn’s moons take over three years just to complete a full orbit around the gas giant.
20 News Moons are up for Naming
According to NASA, only 53 of Saturn’s moons are officially confirmed and named. Despite the finding, NASA has yet to confirm the additional moons. Before this finding, however, 9 other objects around Saturn have had pending moon status. Yet, these findings continue to prove to be accurate based on science. And scientists are very excited to seek your help in naming these moons.
According to Sky and Telescope:
You have until December 6, 2019, to tweet your suggested moon name to @SaturnLunacy with the hashtag #NameSaturnsMoons. Describe why you picked the name you did, and include photos, artwork, and videos to bolster your case.
However, you have to note that the naming isn’t free for all schemes. At the end of the day, the naming of celestial objects is bound by structures. Accordingly, the International Astronomical Union lays down rules for naming things, and Saturn’s moons aren’t exempted.