Dozens of new moons have been detected in observations by astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, reports Sky&Telescope.org. Scott’s observations of these 12 new moons have been published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).
There are now 92 confirmed moons in the Jovian system, and with this number, Jupiter now has the most moons. Some of the newly discovered moons complete their orbits in 340 days and are very small and distant. Furthermore, 9 of these 12 moons are reported to be among the planet’s 71 outermost Jovian moons, with orbits longer than 550 days.
The report further states that three of the newly discovered moons are among 13 others that orbit in a retrograde direction and are located between the large, near-Galilean moons and the far-orbiting retrograde moons.
In addition, data from Shepard’s observations have also confirmed the recovery of the last “missing” Jovian moon, S/2003 J 10. The observations have extended its orbital path to 18 years.