Saturn surpasses Jupiter to become new moon king

Red lines encircling a ball

Notably, a similar such contest was held earlier this year, between the months of February and April, to name the 12 new moons of Jupiter that had been discovered.

Astronomers have launched a contest to name 20 newly discovered moons around Saturn - and the suggestions are already getting loony.

A team led by Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institute of Science found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn.

The distant orbs were spotted with the Subaru telescope located on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, according to a Carnegie press release. "Also, you are able to see Moons of Jupiter, which is called Galilean moons because Galilean was the first person to discover them". Transits play an important role in astronomy and can be used to study the orbits of planets and their atmospheres, both in our solar system and in others.

Astronomers have much completed the inventory of moons as small as 3 miles around Saturn and 1 mile around Jupiter.

There is a new moon champ in our solar system - Saturn.

Want to name one of Saturn's moons? To complete a single orbit of Saturn, it takes two to three years due to a far distance.

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"One of the more exciting things about these outer moons is that there's always missions going", Sheppard said. One of those newly discovered prograde moons orbits the farthest from Saturn of any known natural satellite.

Of the 20 new moons, 17 are orbiting the moon "backwards", that is, in a direction opposite to the planet's motion.

Several others suggested naming the moons after members of the Korean pop band BTS. Of those, two moons are closer to the planet, taking about two Earth-years to complete an orbit. Such groups of outer moons also appear around Jupiter, says Sheppard. Another three have prograde orbits, meaning they orbit in the same direction as the planet's spin. Image: Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. The mechanics are simple: the names must be from the giants from Norse, Gallic, and Inuit mythology.

"The submissions ranged from the scholarly to the silly, including some inevitable Moony McMoonFaces and a surprisingly large number of people who felt strongly about naming the moons after a beloved pet", scientists wrote in a blog post last August. Saturn's moons are named for mythological giants, and which mythology depends on which group the moon belongs to. "All title submissions for this group needs to be giants from Norse mythology".

Size comparison of Jupiter and Earth. Seeing that Saturn "has more moons even though it is harder to find them, shows just how many moons Saturn has collected over time", Sheppard told Gizmodo.

"These moons are the remnants of the objects that helped form the planets, so by studying them, we are learning about what the planets formed from", Sheppard said.

The contest opened Monday, Oct. 7, and could well also poke by December 6. From this, along with the changes in the origin of Saturn, it can be found out about the origin and development of other planets.

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