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A Dozen New Moons Found Orbiting Saturn
A dozen small moons have been discovered orbiting Saturn, bringing that planet's total known count to 46.
The discoveries were made with Japan's Subaru telescope in Hawaii in an ongoing project led by David Jewitt at the University of Hawaii.
The moons are estimated to range in diameter from 2 to 4 miles (3 to 7 kilometers). They are provisionally named S/2004-S7 through S/2004-S18. All but one of them orbits Saturn in the opposite direction of the planet's spin. This retrograde motion, as it is called, is common of small moons around the outer planets and indicates the rocky objects may be captured asteroids, scientists say.
The number of known moons in our solar system has jumped dramatically in recent years as various teams have employed new technologies to find them. Researchers expect there are hundreds and possibly thousands more, depending on how small an object should be considered a moon.
As of this writing, Jupiter has 63 known moons, Uranus has 27, and 13 have been found around Neptune. Mars has two moons and Earth has one, as does Pluto.
The discoveries were made last December and announced this week.
-- SPACE.com Staff
Well... while we are at conveniently warm distance from sun it also means its gravity is much stronger here so low mass planets have hard time retaining (or even collecting) many moons.
Originally posted by they see ALL
and we only have one
Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
Yeah, but ours is THE Moon.
They're nothing, just small rocks caught in orbit it by big planets. Two miles in diameter? Please, Manhattan is bigger than that. I'd be hesitant to call them moons. Satellites would be a better term.
Yes, they're moons, just small, pitiful, boring ones.