Saturn

3 min read

News:Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most number of moons.

Facts:

  • The discovery of 20 new moons of Saturn has made Saturn the planet with the highest number of moons (82) against 79 moons of Jupiter.
  • The moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
  • The discovery have been released by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre.
  • Out of the 20 moons discovered,17 of them orbit Saturn backwards.This is known as a retrograde direction. 
  • The other three moons orbit in a prograde direction which is the same direction as Saturn rotates.

About moons in the Solar system:

  • A count of the moons listed on the NASA website shows that our Solar System’s planets together have 205 confirmed moons now.
  • Saturn and Jupiter with 161 between them accounts for nearly 80% of these. 
  • Another 20% are orbiting Uranus (27) and Neptune (14). Of the remaining three moons,one is Earth’s own while the other two are with Mars. 

Why Mercury and Venus does not have a moon?

  • Mercury is so close to the Sun and its gravity that it wouldn’t be able to hold on to its own moon.Any moon would most likely crash into Mercury or maybe go into orbit around the Sun and eventually get pulled into it.
  • However,it is not yet clear why Venus does not have a moon.

Additional information:

Subaru Telescope:

  • Subaru Telescope is the telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
  • It is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii.

International Astronomical Union:

  • It is an international association of professional astronomers.
  • Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
  • It was founded in 1919. It is headquartered in Paris, France.