With 62 newly discovered moons, Saturn overtakes Jupiter, becoming the planet with the most moons in the solar system.
Prior to the new discovery, Saturn had 83 moons recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Now that number has grown to 145, Space 12/5 was reported. It also marks a milestone for Saturn, making it the first known celestial body in the universe to have more than 100 moons orbiting it.
Image of Saturn taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in June 2018.
Image of Saturn taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in June 2018. (Photo: NASA/ƐSA/A. Simon (GSFC)/OPAL Team/J. DeƤasquale (STScI)).
Dward Ashton, a postdoctoral fellow at the Sinica Academy Astronomy and Astrophysics Academy, and his colleagues have discovered new moons, albeit quite small and faint, thanks to the technique “displacement and superposition”. This technique uses a set of images moving at the same speed as the moon moves across the sky, which enhances the moon’s signal. Thus, moons that cannot be seen in the odd image due to being too dim may be visible in the image. “stacked images”.
Astronomers have used this method to search for moons around the ice giants Neptune and Uranus, but this is the first time it’s been applied to the solar system’s second-largest planet, the Sun, Saturn.
In the new study, the expert team used data compiled by Canada – France – Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) at the summit of Munakea, Hawaii, collected between 2019 and 2021. The data helped them detect moons around Saturn as small as 2.5 kilometers in diameter.
Although astronomers observed several moons in early 2019, they need more information to confirm that these are moons and not asteroids approaching Saturn. Therefore, they watched them for several years to make sure they were in orbit around the gas giant.
Newly discovered moons classified as “abnormal moon”. This term refers to objects that are influenced by a planet’s gravity and orbit that planet in large flat or elliptical orbits that are more inclined than the orbits of ordinary moons. Saturn currently has 121 anomalous moons and 24 regular moons.
In February, Jupiter overtook Saturn to claim the title of “king of the moon” when 12 more new moons were confirmed, bringing the total to 92. Saturn now regains its crown with 145 moons. However, that title could continue to change hands as astronomers’ moon-detecting technology becomes more advanced.
Article source: VnExpress
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