Shocking find! 12 new moon found circling planet Jupiter

Jupiter is now the planet that has the most moons in the solar system.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 04 2023, 15:27 IST
NASA reveals stunning Jupiter images captured by James Webb Space Telescope
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1/6 Amazingly, currently, on Jupiter, there are auroras, storms, extreme temperatures and powerful winds stirring things up, according to NASA. The images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope could give scientists a look at the conditions of the gas giant. (NASA)
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2/6 Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley said, “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.” (NASA)
James Webb Space Telescope
3/6 The images were captured by the telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument on July 27, which highlighted the planet's unique features. According to NASA, the NIRCam has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. (AFP)
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4/6 The image was created by compositing several images. Auroras are visible near the Northern and Southern poles of the planet. According to NASA, the auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. (NASA)
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5/6 The Great Red Spot as well as other clouds can be visible in the images as white since it is reflecting the sunlight. The Great Red Spot is a giant vortex which has been swirling around on Jupiter’s surface for a long time. Jupiter’s 2 moons, Amalthea and Adrastea can also be seen “photo-bombing” the planet. (REUTERS)
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6/6 Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, as part of an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science program said, “This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system.” (NASA/AFP)
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Scientists have discovered 12 new Jupiter moons. (AP)

Did you know? Saturn used to be the planet with the most moons in the solar system. But with the latest findings of dozens of new moons, the crown has shifted to Jupiter. The giant planet previously had 80 moons and with a hefty increase of 15 percent, the new Jovian moon tally takes it to 92. Saturn has 83 confirmed moons. This has been reported by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) since December 20, which published 12 previously unreported moons of Jupiter, Sky & Telescope magazine said. More such moons may well be reported soon. All of these newly-found moons of Jupiter are small and quite farther away from Jupiter and take more than 340 days to orbit around the giant.

However, Jupiter is likely to keep the crown for only a short time. "A search for objects with sizes down to about 3 kilometers across that are moving along with the gas giants found three times more near Saturn than near Jupiter," the report mentioned.

Nine of the newly found 12 Jovian Moons are amongst the 71 outermost moons of Jupiter, whose orbits are more than 550 days. While three of the new moons are part of the 13 other Jupiter Moons that orbit in a prograde direction and lie between the Galilean moons and the retrograde moons.

How do scientists find new moons

The Sky and Telescope report mentioned that the observation of planetary moons is more intricate compared to asteroids or comets. The reason is the path of a moon is influenced by both its host planet's gravity and the Sun. Complete monitoring of a moon's orbit over a full cycle is necessary to establish that it indeed orbits the planet. For instance, the outer moons of Jupiter take about two years to complete one orbit around the planet. Contrarily, predicting the course of asteroids and comets can be achieved with a few weeks of observation as their path is determined only by the Sun's gravity.

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First Published Date: 04 Feb, 15:26 IST
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