Jupiter overtook Saturn in the number of satellites

Having lost leadership in 2019, the largest planet of the solar system escaped forward again.

The battle for the record for the number of famous satellites among the planets of the solar system continues. Jupiter, the largest planet of our system, again seized the leadership. Astronomers counted 12 previously unknown satellites in orbit around Jupiter.

For now The number of famous satellites of Jupiter – 92. Saturn, leading the last three years, can only boast 83 satellites

The recent observations were led by Astron Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institute of Science, who accidentally discovered many Jupiter satellites during the hunt for a hypothetical ninth planet in the outer part of the solar system. Scientists note that Do not be surprised at the discovery of new celestial bodies – the satellites are quite small and dull, And it is difficult to see them, especially next to such a big planet as Jupiter.

Nine of the recently open moons are quite far from Jupiter, rotating in retrograde orbit – in the direction opposite to the rotation of the planet. This is also not surprising – most of the satellites of Jupiter retrograde. This means that they probably passed the bodies captured by the gravity of Jupiter and remained in orbit.

The remaining three satellites are closer to the planet and rotate in the same direction as Jupiter. These smaller satellites are more difficult to see, because the largest planet of the solar system overshadows them. It is possible that there are much more satellites around Jupiter and Saturn, which space researchers have yet to be discovered, writes Science Alert.

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