Researchers discover 12 more moons, planet sets new lunar record

There is a new lunar champion in our solar system. Astronomers recently discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing the gas giant’s lunar total to 92. That new sum eclipses Saturn’s 83 confirmed moons, pushing it into first place. Using data recorded in 2021 and 2022, a research team led by Carnegie Institution’s Scott Sheppard was able to confirm data and cement the moons to a registry at the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.

Despite orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, the 12 new moons are pale in size compared to our moon. The new moons range from 0.6 miles to two miles across, while our moon is more than 2,100 miles in diameter.

“I hope that in the near future we can photograph one of these outer moons up close to better determine their origin,” Sheppard said in an email interview with the Associated Press. The researcher and his team posted their findings online for public viewing.

When it comes to other planets in our system, Uranus has 27 moons while Neptune has 14. Mars has a few moons and Earth completes the list with a single celestial satellite. Neither Venus nor Mercury have a moon orbiting their bodies.

The team and other scientists around the world will likely use the Webb telescope to investigate the moons further and possibly find more around subsequent planets.

What is the Webb Space Telescope?

Basically, the Webb Observatory is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Using the new technology, scientists have been able to explore parts of the known universe that were previously unobservable.

“If you think about it, this is further than humanity has ever gone,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson previously said of the JWST. “And we’re just beginning to understand what Webb can and will do. It’s going to examine solar system objects and atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting other stars, giving us clues as to whether their atmospheres might be similar to ours.”

“Our goals for Webb’s first images and data are both to demonstrate the telescope’s powerful instruments and to provide a preview of the future science mission,” added astronomer Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist at STScI. the images. “They are sure to deliver a much-anticipated ‘wow’ for astronomers and the public.”

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