Help Name Saturn's 20 Newfound Moons

Pablo Tucker
October 12, 2019

That is similar to some of the 79 moons orbiting Jupiter.

As part of a "participatory science" strategy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) asked the general public a few months ago to make proposals for the five new moons of Jupiter. They play a crucial role in helping us determine how our solar system's planets formed and evolved.

More Saturnian moons may yet be found. Sheppard said around 100 moons with a diameter of at least one mile are believed to be orbiting the planet - however, it will take greater telescopes to find these modest bodies, whose small size and outrageous separation makes them exceptionally hard to observe.

According to the researchers, each of the newly discovered moons is about 3 miles (5 km) in diameter. "Utilizing among the largest telescopes on this planet, we are finishing the stock of small moons across the large planets", Sheppard continued. Sheppard said Jupiter was the planet with most known moons since the late 1990s, according to BBC News. These baby moons may have come from larger parent moons that broke apart right after Saturn formed. The other three circle in the same direction that Saturn rotates.


When asked why it took so long to find these new moons, Sheppard said it's because they're so dim. Two of the prograde moons require around two years to make a complete orbit of the gas giant, while the remaining 18 moons require more than three years to make a single orbit (our Moon requires 27 days to make a complete orbit around Earth).

The jury is peaceable out on whether any planets previous our photo voltaic machine contain worthy extra moons. Lastly we have the Gallic group, which are a group of four prograde outer moons. The other 17 moons must be named after giants from Norse mythology, while one ought to be named after a giant from the Gallic mythology. The Carnegie Institution for Science held a contest to name five of them and are doing the same this year, but for all 20 moons.

"One of the more exciting things about these outer moons is that there's always missions going", Sheppard said.

Several others suggested naming the moons after members of the Korean pop band BTS.


There was a group of first-year students from the MBA faculty, some students from Business Administration and Computer Science."I was pretty excited about tonight, as I kind of love that stuff to lookup close to the Moon and the planets", described one of the students from the Computer Science program.

The discovery unlocks a trove of possible new hints at how Saturn and its moons became what they are today. The contest opens Monday and will close on December 6.

The winners of the Jupiter moon-naming contest were Pandia, Ersa, Eirene, Philophrosyne and Eupheme, all characters from Greek or Roman mythology related to Zeus, who is called Jupiter in Roman mythology.

This July 23, 2008, file image made accessible by NASA reveals the planet Saturn, as seen from the Cassini spacecraft.


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