Saturn is located with an unattainable total of 145 moons, above Jupiter’s 95 confirmed.
Saturn has just snatched a curious record from Jupiter in our Solar systemspecifically that of the planet with the largest number of moons.
Jupiter it was reigning, briefly, as the planet in the solar system with the most moons, but scientists have confirmed the discovery of 62 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total to an unreachable 145 moons.
That’s a significant leap ahead of Jupiter’s 95 confirmed moons, making Saturn now the first and only planet in the solar system with more than 100 known moons, researchers at the University of British Columbia reveal.
To do this, they did previous research using data from the telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, between 2019 and 2021.
They analyzed all the images taken during various three-hour observing windows, identifying 62 new moons, which were previously too small or too dim to be detected. Some of these small moons are only 2.5 km across.
All moons are irregular
As confirmed by scientists, the 62 newly detected moons are irregular, that is, they follow distant elliptical orbits around their host planet. They suggest that they may have originated from a larger mother moon that broke away millions of years ago.
“As one reaches the limits of modern telescopes, we find more and more evidence that a moderately sized moon orbiting backwards around Saturn was torn apart about 100 million years ago.“, comments brett gladmanprofessor of astronomy and astrophysics at UBC.
They expect these new moons to be definitively recognized by the end of the month by the International Astronomical Union.