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

OPNsense 16.7

  • OPNsense 16.7 released
  • pfSense/m0n0wall-Forked OPNsense 16.7 Released
    The latest major release is out of OPNsense, a BSD open-source firewall OS project derived from pfSense and m0n0wall. OPNsense 16.7 brings NetFlow-based reporting and export, trafic shaping support, two-factor authentication, HTTPS and ICAP support in the proxy server, and UEFI boot and installation modes.

New Blackmagic and Wine

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • Google, Samsung, Radisys join CORD project
    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) and The Linux Foundation have spun off the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) initiative into its own, new open source project, and Google, Samsung Electronics and Radisys are joining the CORD and ONOS Projects as new partners. Google plans to host the first CORD Summit on July 29 at Google Sunnyvale Tech Corner Campus in California, where industry leaders, network architects and administrators, developers and engineers will convene.
  • CORD Project Aims to Bring Cloud Agility to Service Providers
    The CORD Project recently became an independent project hosted by The Linux Foundation. CORD (TM) (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter), which began as a use case of ONOS®, brings NFV, SDN, and commodity clouds to the telco central office and aims to give telco service providers the same level of agility that cloud providers have to rapidly create new services. Major service providers like AT&T, SK Telecom, Verizon, China Unicom, and NTT Communications, as well as companies like Google and Samsung, are already supporting CORD.
  • Linux Kernel 4.4.16 LTS Released with Over 150 Changes, It's Already in Solus
  • Linux Kernel 4.6.5 Has Numerous Nouveau Improvements, ARM and ARM64 Fixes
  • Linux Kernel 4.6.5 and Kernel 4.4.16 released
    Just after a couple of weeks,Linux Kernel 4.6.4 and 4.6.15 release was announced,here comes the next release in both series of Linux kernel 4.6 and 4.4. Both the releases are to bring fixes and improvements in performance.There are some workarounds made in GPU drivers,Wireless,USB,Sound and others can be checked in the change log,Of Course. In the Kernel 4.6.5 there are 220 files changed,1754 files inserted newly and 998 deletations are made.On the other hand,Linux kernel 4.4.16 has 156 files are changed,1475 insetations and 845 deletations are notified as per the announcement.
  • Linux 4.7 now out with enhanced security and advanced graphics support

BSD Leftovers

  • FreeBSD Q2'2016: EFI Improvements, Prepping For FreeBSD 11.0, Package Updates
    For FreeBSD fans not closely following its development on a daily basis, the FreeBSD project has released their Q2'2016 quarterly status report that covers various activities going on around this BSD operating system project.
  • EuroBSDCon 2016 schedule has been released
    The EuroBSDCon 2016 talks and schedule have been released, and oh are we in for a treat! All three major BSD's have a "how we made the network go fast" talk, nearly every single timeslot has a networking related talk, and most of the non-networking talks look fantastic as well.