Tuesday, 16 October, 2018


Astronomers Serendipitously Discover 12 Moons Around Jupiter

Kristine Garrett | 17 July, 2018, 23:11

After their observations and more than a year of follow-ups and confirmations, they announced this week that they found 12 new moons.

One of the new moons in the outer group is particularly unique, according to astronomer Scott Sheppard at the Carnegie Institution for Science, who led the team that first spotted the moons past year. Additional observations over a year confirmed the orbits of the moons, all of which are 3 kilometers or less in diameter.

After the team of scientists initially saw the moons via a telescope at Chile's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, at least four other telescopes were used to verify the moons.

But that didn't necessarily suggest they were moons - they could have been asteroids orbiting the sun.

Two of the new moons are part of the prograde group, a bunch of moons that are relatively close to Jupiter and rotate in the same direction as the planet. But Valetudo, in addition to being the smallest discovered, orbits in prograde, or the same direction as the planet's spin.

They all turned out to be moons of Jupiter.

Astronomers looking for Planet Nine-a celestial body predicted to orbit in the outer reaches of our solar system-stumbled upon 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter.

In June 2017, the same team discovered two mile-wide moons and five lost moons.

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

"These moons are the last remnants of the building blocks of the giant planets as all other material in the giant planet region likely fell into the planets to help form them", Sheppard said.

As a result, head-on collisions are much more likely to occur between the "oddball" prograde and the retrograde moons, which are moving in opposite directions.

Sheppard and his colleagues have proposed naming the oddball moon Valetudo, after a minor goddess and great-granddaughter of the Roman god Jupiter.

Sheppard, who led the team, said Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where they were looking for extremely distant solar system objects so they were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter at the same time. The team's goal was to scan the sky for evidence of a massive ninth planet in the outer solar system.

"So we could also search for Jupiter moons while looking for things that are well beyond Pluto", Sheppard says.

Before Sheppard's team conducted their survey, there were 69 known Jovian moons, but there's always been reason to believe there are quite a few more.

Astronomers group Jupiter's moons by their distance from the planet as well as their orbital direction. That tilt has the weird little moon crossing the paths of those outer retrograde moons. That puts it on a possible collision course with a retrograde moon.

The moons are remnants of what was out there, born in the disc of gas and dust around Jupiter after the planet formed and then captured and pulled into Jupiter's orbit.

If Planet Nine exists, it could be the runt of the giant planets, Sheppard said. This is in contrast to other Jupiter moons such as Ganymede - the biggest in the solar system with a diameter of 5,268km. In the meantime, they're waiting for the IAU to formally accept "Valetudo" as the name for the oddball moon.

"If we do find this planet in the next few years, it would be a pretty awesome discovery for astronomy. Thus head-on collisions are likely".

Recommended

loading...
...

The CW Developing Batwoman TV Series With Lesbian Superhero Lead Batwoman first appeared in print in the early days of Detective Comics but was later ditched, making her grand revival in 2006. On TV, Batwoman first appeared in animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold , which premiered on Cartoon Network in 2008.

Now Theresa May faces recess rebellion (and another Brexit bill) Now Theresa May faces recess rebellion (and another Brexit bill) As Justine Greening proposes a three-way second Brexit referendum, James O'Brien says why everybody will vote with the same second preference.

Phillies eye J.A. Happ while waiting on Manny Machado Phillies eye J.A. Happ while waiting on Manny Machado If the Dodgers do get Machado, their path as the betting favorite to win the World Series will be paved. "You're smart. Machado was drafted by the Orioles with the third overall pick in 2010 and has been a starter in Baltimore since 2012.

County Fire contained after burning 91,000 acres; Klamathon Fire crews make progress County Fire contained after burning 91,000 acres; Klamathon Fire crews make progress He was part of the Cal Fire unit that was assisting Sierra National Forest crews, Cal Fire Unit Chief Nancy Koerperich said. Those fires are both now 90 percent contained, but a series of other small fires has popped up across the state.

Danny Green Somehow Believes Spurs Have a Shot at Retaining Kawhi Leonard First, they missed out on Paul George , and now the Lakers may miss their chance at landing reported trade target Kawhi Leonard . Per OddsShark, the Toronto Raptors are now tied with the Spurs in having the best odds to have Kawhi on their roster next season.

Harry & Meghan Channel Princess Diana During Visit to Mandela Exhibit Harry & Meghan Channel Princess Diana During Visit to Mandela Exhibit He also told the tabloid that his daughter is strong and controlling, and is someone who likes to be in charge, so her new life must be hard .

Girl killed after surviving alleged drunk driving crash in Detroit Girl killed after surviving alleged drunk driving crash in Detroit Police have not released the name of the 7-year-old, but the girl's mom told FOX2 that it was her daughter, Dessandra Thomas . Burts said that seven-year-old was a rising third-grader and described her as a "blessing" to everyone who's ever met her.

Trump Faces Tidal Wave Of Criticism Over Handling Of Summit With Putin Trump Faces Tidal Wave Of Criticism Over Handling Of Summit With Putin Coats was joined by many former intelligence officials who went much further in slamming Trump's performance in Helsinki . Trump also dismissed the idea in his interview with Hannity , adding, "If they had it, it would have been out".

Jewish Kremlin foe sought by Putin at Helsinki summit slams 'incredible offer' Jewish Kremlin foe sought by Putin at Helsinki summit slams 'incredible offer' Bush and Central Intelligence Agency director under former president Barack Obama, said it amounted to an impeachable act. And John Brennan , former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under former president George W.

Meryl Streep and Cher among stars at premiere of Mamma Mia sequel Meryl Streep and Cher among stars at premiere of Mamma Mia sequel Cher plays Ruby Sheridan, the mother of the first film's protagonist Donna ( Meryl Streep ). And it was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday".

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share their family plans Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share their family plans When they arrived on the pitch, the crowd clapped and could be heard shouting "Harry, Harry", according to BBC News . Mullins shared images of Harry and Meghan's awestruck faces after she gave them the portrait in a black frame.

Farnborough Airshow 2018: Day one in numbers Farnborough Airshow 2018: Day one in numbers A purchase of more of the USA company's current-generation 777s or the 787 Dreamliner remains an alternative, he said. Also, Boeing finalized a Qatar Airways order for five 777 Freighters, first announced as a commitment in April.

Trump lists Russia, EU, China as 'foes' ahead of Putin summitx Trump lists Russia, EU, China as 'foes' ahead of Putin summitx Four former Trump campaign figures, including his first national security adviser and a campaign manager, have been indicted. But Trump's statements on the issue could give Russian Federation reason to hope he might change that stance.

British Prime Minister Theresa May: President Trump Suggested Suing the EU British Prime Minister Theresa May: President Trump Suggested Suing the EU Her gruelling schedule will begin with her last Prime Minister's Question Time clashes with Jeremy Corbyn until September. MPs will carry on debating Brexit on Tuesday when the Trade Bill comes to the Commons.

Belgium's World Cup star hints at Tottenham departure Belgium's World Cup star hints at Tottenham departure Toby Alderweireld insists his prolonged spell out of Tottenham's first-team last season was "unjustified" and admits he still unsure about his future.