New Moons Found Around Jupiter

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution of Science have discovered that Jupiter has more moons than previously thought, twelve more in fact, including what they are calling 11 “normal” moons and one “oddball” which brings the total number of moons around Jupiter to 79; the most for any planet in the Solar System.

 

The term “oddball” is being used to describe one of the moons because not only is it orbiting Jupiter in a way that is contrary to most of the other moons, though it is not alone in that, but also because it is doing so slightly inclined to the other moons; which means it will eventually collide with one or more of the other moons.

 

illustration shows the moons of Jupiter and their orbits. (Carnegie Institution of Science)

 

While these new moons certainly increase the total, they are far from the largest, most being between one and three kilometers wide. The largest moons around Jupiter are the Galilean Moons, Ganymede, Io, Callisto and Europa, which are visible from earth with powerful binoculars or a telescope.

 

All information and images from Carnegie Institution of Science.

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