Help astronomers name 20 new moons discovered around Saturn
Jupiter has been called the “King” of the planets and had held the record for the planet with the most moons.
Until recently, Jupiter has 79 known moons orbiting around this giant gas planet!
Welcome Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun. With the recent discovery of 20 new moons, that brings the total to 82 moons for Saturn.
These new moons of Saturn, were discovered with the large Subaru telescope in Hawaii.
The telescope has a giant mirror system some 27 feet in diameter. This is important when looking for these small (3-mile) in diameter objects.
Here is an image of the massive Subaru Telescope.
Saturn is a most interesting planet with its amazing ring system and cloud formations on the disk of the planet.
Many of these new moons orbit the planet in various directions.
Some move in the same direction as the rotation of Saturn (prograde) and many others orbit the planet opposite of direct motion (retrograde).
Here is a great illustration of the orbits of the many moons of Saturn.
Many would not be surprised with this discovery, as the ring system of Saturn is based upon billions of small chunks of rock and ice. There probably are many additional moons yet to be discovered.
Now, we have an opportunity to help name these new moons and get into some real science for all of us!
You can actually send your suggestions for naming these moons, but the names must come from three groups of mythology.
These moons have been grouped into three classifications: Inuit, Norse and Gallic.
If you are interested in naming a moon, tweet your ideas to Saturn Lunacy with the hashtag #NameSaturnsMoons.
You have until Dec. 6 to get yours in!
To help you out, use this link to look at what names have been assigned to Saturn and the ones that need to be named.
To print your own monthly star chart, click here.
Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.