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Scientists have discovered 12 previously unknown moons orbiting Jupiter, and one of them is a real oddball. While hunting for the proposed Planet Nine, a massive planet that some believe could lie beyond Pluto, a team of scientists, led by Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science, found the 12 moons orbiting Jupiter. With this discovery, Jupiter now has a staggering 79 known orbiting moons — more than any other planet in the solar system.
Scientists have discovered 12 previously unknown moons orbiting Jupiter, and one of them is a real oddball. While hunting for the proposed Planet Nine, a massive planet that some believe could lie beyond Pluto, a team of scientists, led by Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science, found the 12 moons orbiting Jupiter. With this discovery, Jupiter now has a staggering 79 known orbiting moons — more than any other planet in the solar system. Advertisement Of the 12 newly discovered moons, 11 are "normal," according to a statement from the Carnegie Institution for Science. The 12th moon, however, 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, Sheppard said in the statement.
The newly discovered "oddball" moon has a prograde orbit, but it orbits farther from Jupiter than the other moons in the larger prograde group and it takes about one and a half Earth years to complete an orbit. The satellite's oddness comes from 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. Valetudo is more than just the odd moon out; it's also a serious collision hazard. Because it's orbiting in the opposite direction of the nine "new" retrograde moons, and across their paths, there is a high risk that it will hit one of them, according to the statement.
originally posted by: seattlerat
originally posted by: Devino
originally posted by: seattlerat
Interesting that the rotations are grouped by direction in bands of retrograde and prograde. I always wondered about Jupiter's retrograde moons yet I never thought they were grouped together like that. Maybe this is a clue of their origin, especially the "Oddball" moon. If it hasn't collided by now, transferring its motion into retrograde with the other satellites, than its either impossibly lucky or fairly new I would think.
originally posted by: norhoc
a reply to: seattlerat
And they want me to believe that we know that there is no ET life forms in the universe and claim to have all the answers to stuff happening billions of light years away and we don't even know what is in our solar system
With Lagrangian points other stable patterns are possible, and so happen. A stable 3:2 resonance pattern of asteroids whose motion gets confined to a basically triangular shape by the combined pull of Jupiter and the Sun. Around Jupiter this group of asteroids is called the Hilda Family, and their route forms a triangle with its three points at the two Lagrange points and at the point on Jupiter’s orbit directly opposite it from the Sun.
None of these orbits are perfectly stable, because each of these asteroids is subject to pulling from everything in the Solar System; as a result, an asteroid can shift from the Lagrange points to the Hilda family, and from the Hilda family to the Asteroid Belt, especially if it runs into something and changes its course.