Jupiter has once again ceded the title of “most known moons” to Saturn, after 62 new Saturnians moons were discovered, taking the grand total to 145. Jupiter had taken over the title in February 23 after its official total moons had gone up to 95.
Saturn has regained its crown as the planet with the most moons in the solar system, just months after being overtaken by its fellow gas giant Jupiter. Sixty-two new moons of the planet were discovered recently, taking the official total to 145. Jupiter added 12 moons to its tally in February 2023 and has 95 recognised moons. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute
Over the past two decades, Saturn's surroundings have been repeatedly examined for moons with increasing sensitivity. The number of known saturnian irregular moons has more than doubled to 121, with 58 previously known before the search began. Saturn is now the first planet with over 100 moons. The new ones have not been named yet. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute
Researchers from Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan, University of British Columbia, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Observatoire de Besancon were able to find Saturnian moons down to a diameter of just 2.5 kilometres. The researchers shifted and stacked images taken of the moons over several years. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech
All of the new moons are in the class of irregular moons, which are thought to be initially captured by their host planet long ago. The irregular moons tend to clump together into orbital groups based on the tilt of their orbits. There are three groups in Saturnian system: Inuit, Gallic and the most popular one, Norse. All of the new moons fall into one of the three known groups, with the Norse group again being the most populated amongst the new moons. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute
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