Saturn Surpass Jupiter in ‘moon race’
Astronomers have made a remarkable discovery, finding 62 new moons orbiting Saturn, which brings the total number of moons around Saturn to 145, surpassing Jupiter as the planet with the most moons in our solar system.
Previously, Jupiter held the record with 95 recognized moons. The University of British Columbia researchers confirmed that Saturn now reclaims its title of having the highest number of known moons, surpassing Jupiter once again.
In fact, Saturn not only doubled its moon count but now has more moons than all other planets in the solar system combined, according to astronomer Prof. Brett Gladman from UBC.
The newly discovered moons around Saturn have been temporarily identified using alphanumeric designations. Eventually, they will be given names based on traditions related to Gallic, Norse, and Canadian Inuit gods, following the customary practice for Saturn’s moons.
It is important to note that all of these new moons belong to the category of irregular moons, characterized by their large, elliptical, and inclined orbits in contrast to the regular ones.
Saturn currently has 24 regular moons. The research team, led by Dr Edward Ashton, conducted the study using data obtained from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, from 2019 to 2021.
The initial search for these moons was carried out in 2019 by meticulously examining the deep CFHT images from that year. These celestial bodies must be monitored for a number of years to prove their regular orbits around the planet in order to be formally classified as moons.