A team of astronomers led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard has recently found 20 new moons around Saturn. These new moons bring the total number to 82, which makes Saturn the mooniest planet in the solar system. What’s more, you can help name the new ones!
With these new moons, the ringed planet surpassed Jupiter, which has 79 known moons.
According to the Carnegie Science website, the new moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Now Saturn has a total of 82 moons with confirmed orbits. They range from tiny moonlets less than a kilometer across to the enormous Titan, which has a diameter of 5,149.5 km / 3200 miles (larger than the planet Mercury, which has a diameter of 4,879.4 km / 3,032 miles).
According to Scott Sheppard, there are at least 100 even tinier moons that may be orbiting Saturn, still waiting to be found.
The Carnegie Science website also hosted an online contest to name five of these new moons. You can help name them! The contest has been launched on October 7 and will be concluded on December 6, 2019.
To submit, you can simply tweet your suggested moon name to @SaturnLunacy and tell why you picked it.
Details about how the International Astronomical Union names astronomical objects can be found on the International Astronomical Union website.
- Moons of Saturn on Wikipedia
- “Saturn Surpasses Jupiter After The Discovery Of 20 New Moons And You Can Help Name Them!” on Carnegie Science website