Jupiter has ten more moons bringing the total to 79

Jupiter has ten more moons bringing the total to 79

Jupiter has ten more moons bringing the total to 79

A prograde satellite may simply have been floating through the solar system before being captured by Jupiter.

They are also believed to be fragments of a larger moon that was broken apart and take just under a year to circle Jupiter.

The astronomers do not know the composition of the dozen newly identified moons.

The discovery of this collection of moons was actually made by accident as the team had been observing further into space in the hope of finding 'Planet Nine', the so-far theoretical planet that could exist at the farthest-flung part of our solar system. That means the revolve around Jupiter opposite from the planet's rotation. And if that's not enough astronomers recently discovered 12 new ones to add to the list.

USA researchers have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing the total number of the planet's known moons to 79, researchers said on Tuesday.

The Carnegie Institution for Science is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. If there's another planet orbiting the Sun way, way far out - the so-called Planet Nine - then its gravity may affect the orbits of these KBOs, allowing astronomers to figure out where this possible planet is. Of Jupiter's 79 moons, 26 remain unnamed, including nine of the 10 new ones.

Sheppard says Jupiter's prograde moons probably formed from the same spinning disc of stuff that eventually coalesced to form the planet. The moons closer to Jupiter, including the four Galilean satellites, orbit Jupiter in the same direction as the planet's rotation - astronomers call this a prograde orbit. "It is moving prograde while all the other objects at a similar distance from Jupiter are moving retrograde".

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And each moon stays in its respective lane.

But the last moon is a weird one. But it's not part of the same group.

For example, the discovery that the smallest moons in Jupiter's various orbital groups are still abundant suggests the collisions that created them occurred after the era of planet formation.

Scott Sheppard: "So it's basically going down the highway in the opposite direction, so it's like going against traffic".

Dr Sheppard said: 'This is an unstable situation.

The curious find might shed light on how many of Jupiter's current moons were formed. He and his team have been photographing the skies with some of today's best telescope technology, hoping to catch sight of this mysterious ninth planet. We're using the most advanced digital cameras in the world ... "We think these moons are an intermediate type of object, half-rock and half-ice".

All the newly identified moons are relatively small. Each is only one to three kilometres wide, and thus would be very hard to spot using most telescopes. Now, all that's left is to name the new moons. "Valetudo" - after the great-granddaughter of the Roman god Jupiter - also known as the goddess of health and hygiene. But Juno is too close to the huge planet and its field of view is too small to capture images of the planet, Sheppard said.

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