Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Twelve new moons for Saturn

Filed under
Sci/Tech

Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its number of natural satellites to 46.

The moons are small, irregular bodies - probably only about 3-7km in size - that are far from Saturn and take about two years to complete one orbit.

All but one circles Saturn in the opposite direction to its larger moons - a characteristic of captured bodies.

Jupiter is the planet with the most moons, 63 at the last count. Saturn now has 46. Uranus has 27 and Neptune 13.

The latest ones were found last year using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. Confirmation observations were made last month using the Gemini North telescope also situated in Hawaii.

Dave Jewitt of the University of Hawaii, co-discoverer of the objects, told the BBC News website that they were found as part of a detailed survey of the outer planets in order to better understand their origin.

The newly-found satellites were probably formed in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and scattered out of it by the tug of Jupiter's gravity.

"The key question is how they became captured by Saturn. The current models devised to explain how such bodies are captured are unable to explain why they reach the orbits they do," said Dr Jewitt.

"The new discoveries should improve our knowledge of satellite systems in general and should, eventually, lead to an understanding of how such small, irregular bodies are captured by the gravity of giant planets".

"Having more satellites to study will give us more data to plug into our computer simulations that may tell us what happened", he added.

Astronomers have found that all four giant planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - possess about the same number of small irregular satellites irrespective of the mass of the planet, the orbit of the satellites, or if they were captured or formed in orbit. This observation remains unexplained.

Text and pic Source.

More in Tux Machines

5 top Blender video tutorials for beginners

Blender is a complex piece of software that is capable of producing extremely high-quality visuals for all manner of visual art purposes, from video games to product visualization. Of course, that power needs to be wielded by a controlled hand. Otherwise, you'll end up with a mush of digital geometry that makes no sense at all. These days, video tutorials are the educational tool of choice for most people. I'm going to give you five of the best free beginner video tutorials for Blender currently available. I recommend you watch all of them. They all cover a lot of the same information. However, every instructor has a different way of presenting. Stick with the one that clicks with you. Read more

Cinnamon 3.8 Desktop Environment Released with Python 3 Support, Improvements

Scheduled to ship with the upcoming Linux Mint 19 "Tara" operating system series this summer, the Cinnamon 3.8 desktop environment is now available for download and it's a major release that brings numerous improvements, new features, and lots of Python 3 ports for a bunch of components. Among the components that got ported to Python 3 in the Cinnamon 3.8 release, we can mention cinnamon-settings, cinnamon-menu-editor, cinnamon-desktop-editor, cinnamon-settings-users, melange, background slideshow, the switch editor and screensaver lock dialogs, desktop file generation scripts, as well as all the utilities. Read more

Canonical Releases Kernel Security Updates for Ubuntu 17.10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

For Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) users, today's security update addresses a bug (CVE-2018-8043) in Linux kernel's Broadcom UniMAC MDIO bus controller driver, which improperly validated device resources, allowing a local attacker to crash the vulnerable system by causing a denial of service (DoS attack). For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) users, the security patch fixes a buffer overread vulnerability (CVE-2017-13305) in Linux kernel's keyring subsystem and an information disclosure vulnerability (CVE-2018-5750) in the SMBus driver for ACPI Embedded Controllers. Both issues could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information. Read more

Security: Updates, Reproducible Builds, Match.com and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #156
  • A Match.com glitch reactivated a bunch of old profiles, raising concerns about user data

    A Match Group spokesperson confirmed that a “limited number” of old accounts had been accidentally reactivated recently and that any account affected received a password reset. Match.com’s current privacy statement, which was last updated in 2016, says that the company can “retain certain information associated with your account” even after you close it. But that Match Group spokesperson also told The Verge that the company plans to roll out a new privacy policy “in the next month or so,” in order to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); under the new policy, all those years-old accounts will be deleted. The Verge has requested clarification on which accounts will qualify for deletion, and what “deletion” will specifically entail, but has not received a response as of press time.

  • New hacks siphon private cryptocurrency keys from airgapped wallets

    Like most of the other attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University professor Mordechai Guri and his colleagues, the currency wallet exploits start with the already significant assumption that a device has already been thoroughly compromised by malware. Still, the research is significant because it shows that even when devices are airgapped—meaning they aren't connected to any other devices to prevent the leaking of highly sensitive data—attackers may still successfully exfiltrate the information. Past papers have defeated airgaps using a wide array of techniques, including electromagnetic emissions from USB devices, radio signals from a computer's video card, infrared capabilities in surveillance cameras, and sounds produced by hard drives.

  • New hacker group targets US health-care industry, researchers say

    The group, which Symantec has named “Orangeworm,” has been installing backdoors in large international corporations based in the U.S., Europe and Asia that operate in the health-care sector.

    Among its victims are health-care providers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as IT companies and equipment manufacturers that work for health organizations.