National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Twelve New Moons Discovered for Saturn

| Science

A detailed survey of the outer planets by David Jewitt, from the University of Hawaii, and colleagues have netted twelve new moons for Saturn. This brings the total number of moons for the large outer plants to 63 for Jupiter, 46 for Saturn, 27 for Uranus, 13 for Neptune and 1 for Pluto.

The new moons are small and irregular, probably only 3 to 7 km in size. They are more like asteroids than Earth's moon, and may have even originated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, although their origin remains a mystery. The moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope and confirmed using the Gemini North telescope, also on Mauna Kea.