Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Jupiter-A Growing Army Of Moons
As far as planets go, Jupiter is not one to mess with.
Not only is Jupiter both the biggest and the oldest planet in our solar system, but its army of moons keeps on getting larger.
The planet was never exactly lacking in company. Now, astronomers have discovered two more Jovian moons, bringing the total number of its known satellites to 69, wrote Gizmodo.
Astronomers spotted the two moons accidentally on March 8, 2016 and March 23, 2017, respectively.
“We were continuing our survey looking for very distant objects in the outer solar system, which includes looking for Planet X, and Jupiter just happened to be in the area we were looking in 2016 and 2017,” astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science told Sky and Telescope.
Planet X refers to a suspected extra planet in the solar system.
So far, not much is known about the two moons – dubbed S/2016 J 1 and S/2017 J 1 – aside from the time it takes them to orbit Jupiter and their small size. They measure only one or two kilometers across. S/2016 J 1 needs 1.65 years to fully orbit Jupiter, while S/2017 J 1 completes the trip in 2.01 years, said Gizmodo.
But more research is undoubtedly forthcoming on Jupiter’s new crew, they added.