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Scientists have discovered 12 new Jupiter moons around the giant planet. A team of researchers led by Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science, discovered these 12 new Jupiter moons. So, after finding 12 new moons now it is considered that Jupiter has 79 known orbiting moons.
Currently Jupiter has more moons than any other planet in the solar system. According to a statement from the Carnegie Institution for Science; one of the moons is described as “a real oddball,” because of its unique orbit and because it is also probably Jupiter’s smallest known moon, at less than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter. But the other 11 moons are “normal”.
One of the interesting facts about these new findings is that scientists were searching for Planet Nine in the region past Pluto in 2017, not the moons of Jupiter but “Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking,” Sheppard said. This gave the team a unique opportunity to search for new moons around Jupiter in addition to objects located past Pluto, according to the statement.”
“Nine of the newly discovered moons have retrograde orbits, meaning that they orbit in the opposite direction of the planet’s spin. These satellites are part of a large group of moons that orbit in retrograde far from Jupiter. In fact, of Jupiter’s 67 previously discovered moons, the 33 outermost moons all have retrograde orbits”, claims space.com.
One of the odd moons “oddball” orbits farther from Jupiter, it has a prograde orbit which takes about one and a half Earth years to complete an orbit.
WHY DO SCIENTISTS CONSIDER THESE MOONS ODD?
The satellite’s oddness is described by its tiny size and the fact that, although it’s out in the realm of the retrograde moons, it’s orbiting in the opposite direction to them. Researchers have proposed naming the “oddball” Valetudo, after the Roman goddess of health and hygiene.
“This is an unstable situation,” Sheppard said. “Head-on collisions would quickly break apart and grind the objects down to dust. “Some of Jupiter’s moons and moon groupings, including the “oddball,” could have formed from collisions like this, according to the statement.
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