A team of scientists have discovered 20 new moons orbiting Saturn bringing the total number of moons of the ringed planet to 82 and dethroning Jupiter, which has 79, as the planet with the most.
The discovery of Saturn’s new moons was announced on Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.
The 20 new moons are 5 kilometers in diameter. Some 17 of them orbited the planet in a reverse direction the other three orbits the same way Saturn rotates.
“Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation,” the experts explained.
“Using some of the largest telescopes in the world, we are now completing the inventory of small moons around the giant planets,” one of the discoverers Scott Sheppard said.
And following the public’s interest in naming Jupiter’s moons last year, they will also do
the same for Saturn.
“I was so thrilled with the amount of public engagement over the Jupiter moon-naming contest that we’ve decided to do another one to name these newly discovered Saturnian moons. This time, the moons must be named after giants from Norse, Gallic, or Inuit mythology,” Sheppard added.