Astronomers accidentally discovered 12 more moons of Jupiter, including an 'oddball'

The discovery means Jupiter, the oldest and largest planet in the solar system, has more moons than any of the other seven.

That's Scott Sheppard. He's an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science who spends his time searching for new objects in our solar system.

A new bumper haul of moons has been discovered by accident around Jupiter, with one of them described as an "oddball".

They first spotted the 12 new moons in the spring of 2017, but they had to conduct several more observations before they could confirm that the moons actually orbited Jupiter, according to Gareth Williams of the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

Each new moon takes about two years to circle the planet.

The study suspects that Valetudo is the final remnant of a once much larger moon that has been ground to dust by collisions in the past. And after follow-up observations, they've confirmed that Jupiter has even more moons than we thought. The retrograde set of moons take about two years to complete a lap around Jupiter, and the prograde ones take under a year.

Jupiter's moons range in size from shrimpy satellites to whopping space hulks.

"MS Dhoni Not Going Anywhere", Stresses Coach Ravi Shastri
The question of England's mental approach was at the forefront of Root's thinking as he turned his focus to the Test series. India and England go into the 3rd and final One-day global of the series tied at 1-1.

Sheppard and his team have already suggested a moniker for the oddball moon: Valetudo, the mythological great-granddaughter of the Roman god Jupiter and the goddess of health and hygiene. It's believed that numerous tiny moons around Jupiter were once much larger, having broken up over time due to the stress of gravity or perhaps even collisions with each other, resulting in the smaller objects we see today. When these moons were visible, Jupiter was very close to our own bright moon, so great care was needed to ensure that the images didn't saturate from overexposure.

Nine of the newly discovered moons have retrograde orbits, meaning that they orbit in the opposite direction of the planet's spin. "Most of the small objects that helped build the planets we see today were incorporated into the planets themselves, and these moons are all that remains", Sheppard wrote.

Beyond these is a group known as the "prograde" moons - more tiny, irregular satellites, all of which travel around Jupiter in the same direction that the planet rotates (counter-clockwise, in the view shown below). This hypothetical large prograde moon may also have formed some retrograde moon groupings.

Aside from the hulking Galilean moons that stretch thousands of miles in diameter, most of Jupiter's moons, including the new twelve, are between a mile and a few tens of miles across.

Famed astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered the first four moons of Jupiter way back in the early 1600s. These moons orbit Jupiter in the opposite direction. Sheppard thinks it may be all that's left of a larger moon that crashed into one or more of the retrograde moons sometime in the past. They take a little less than a year to orbit the gas giant.

It will appear as the fourth brightest object in the sky behind the moon, Mars and Venus.

But what's particularly wild about these newly discovered Jovian moons is that researchers weren't even looking for them. Two of them go round in a prograde motion, in the same direction to Jupiter's spin.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber finishes second in the MLB Home Run Derby
In his 30 seconds of extra time - earned because he hit at least one ball at least 440 feet - Harper won it on his second swing. Schwarber reached the final round after a thrilling showing in the semifinals against Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Calls Trump A "Little Wet Noodle" After Putin Conference
That view has not changed in the wake of Putin's comments, several committee Republicans said. Mr Howard also said the alliance between Australia and the United States was "rock solid".

Obama condemns 'strongman politics' and disregard for facts
The German stamp features a photo of a relatively young Nelson Mandela taken three days after his release from prison. The politics of "fear and resentment" is now on the move, in the United States and across the world, Mr.

Mountain biker pulls stunt over Tour de France riders
At the 2017 Tour, he won the Düsseldorf opening time trial on stage 1 and held the yellow jersey for four days. The Frenchman beat his chest and spread his arms to celebrate France's first stage win of the 2018 Tour.

Joe Hart flies out to U.S. with Manchester City squad
Jorginho played under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli and Chelsea's new head coach was keen to be reunited with him at Stamford Bridge. City face a Dortmund side that will include Mario Gotze, who scored Germany's winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.

Brexit: Cabinet stays away as Boris Johnson harks back to 'glorious vision'
And if the prime minister can fix that vision once again before us then I believe she can deliver a great Brexit for Britain".

Iran Hints at Nuclear Cooperation with US
The blocking statute is due to enter force on August 6, when the first set of United States sanctions are due. According to Lavrov, the decision particularly concerns small and medium-sized companies.

Blue Origin Successfully Launches New Shepard Rocket for High-Altitude Emergency Abort Test
Also, ticket prices for a trip into space haven't yet been decided, noted Cornell. "But we've got our eyes on the prize". Such systems are created to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

Trump threatens to hit all $505bn of Chinese imports with tariffs
The People's Bank of China set the Chinese currency's central parity rate to 0.9 percent weaker against the dollar on Friday. When it came to interest rates, Nixon told his advisers "we'll take inflation if necessary, but we can't take unemployment".

Trump says he would hold Putin responsible for alleged interference
He has repeatedly noted that Putin denies it, while also saying that it is alleged to have taken place before he became president. Putin, speaking through an interpreter, once again denied what he described as "so-called interference of Russian Federation ".

Branson Tour Boat Accident Victims (2018)
He also said that the boat had life jackets onboard, but added that under Missouri law , passengers are not required to wear them. He says he didn't think the duck boats would have a problem despite the weather because they are repurposed military vehicles.

Microsoft earnings: Q4 FY2018
Finally, in addition to its Q4 release, Microsoft provided a look at how it performed for the entirety of the 2018 fiscal year. The growth and share gains in Microsoft's Azure support field checks indicating an emerging duopoly with Amazon Web Services.

Trump says he accepts that Russia meddling continues
During a news conference after Monday's summit, Mr Trump was asked about alleged Russian meddling in the United States election. She said the administration is working to make sure Russian Federation doesn't meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.

'Russia is not our friend': Arkansas lawmakers comment on Trump-Putin meeting
However, it remains unclear if Trump secured Putin's help to maintain global sanctions and pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime. The Russian president was equally dismissive of claims that the Russian government has damaging information about Trump .

Alexis Sanchez absent as Manchester United head to U.S. for pre-season
It is really sad, it is not good for us", Mourinho said of Sanchez's situation. " And I think it's a remarkable move ". It's hard to say that to win the World Cup is not good for a player's career.

More News

More News