Astronomers have discovered 12 new natural sattelites orbiting Saturn. The small irregular shaped Moons range in size from 3-7km wide and were
discovered last year using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. But a confirmation sighting was made just last month using the Gemini North telescope also
situated in Hawaii.
Dave Jewitt of the University of Hawaii, co-discoverer of the objects, told the BBC News website that they were found as part of a detailed survey of
the outer planets in order to better understand their origin.
The newly-found satellites were probably formed in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and scattered out of it by the tug of Jupiter's
"The new discoveries should improve our knowledge of satellite systems in general and should, eventually, lead to an understanding of how such small,
irregular bodies are captured by the gravity of giant planets".
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I find it strange how these new moons were discovered last year and yet were only confirmed last month. Wouldnt it have been possible to confirm them
while the the joint venture Cassini-Huygenes probe was making its final approach to Saturn?
When they discovered them the first time, they propably didn't get much data on their orbital paths and speed of orbit. So it could be tricky to find
them again, also, they could have been on the far side of saturn for a while, hidden behind the already known larger moons or any number of other
Many Scientist claim that the asteroid belt could not have been a planet. Even though they haven't Cataloged but about 90% of the large asteroids
and only about 50% of the small ones. There are millions left to cataloge. Of the ones they know of they Hypothesized that the entire mass is less
than that of the moon.
First off that number could be far off based on the number of uncataloged asteroids.
Second, many of these over a hundred satelite moons could also be captured asteroids. And would add to the overall mass, and some are hundreds of
km's in diameter.
Third, Any explosion large enough to blast a planet into millions of pieces would probably obliterate much of the mass as well as blow particles
beyond our solar system.
Just my two cents on this. Great find for them though.
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