Jupiter could have some 600 moons measuring at least 800 meters (2,600 feet) in diameter, according to a team of Canadian astronomers. They will present their findings on September 25th at the virtual Europlanet Science Congress 2020. Most of the moons are in wide, irregular, and retrograde orbits.
Over the past 20 years, astronomers have found dozens of small Jovian moons thanks to the advance of large digital cameras. Back in 2003, Scott Sheppard (Carnegie Institution of Science) already estimated that the number of irregular moons larger than a kilometer would probably be around one hundred.
Now, Edward Ashton, Matthew Beaudoin, and Brett Gladman (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) have detected about four dozen possible new Jovian moons that are even smaller. Extrapolating from the sky area they have searched (about one square degree), they conclude that there could be some 600 of these tiny objects orbiting the giant planet.
Read more: https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-n ... 600-moons/
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