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More Moons around Jupiter & Saturn

Astronomers have recently discovered several more moons in our Solar System. Scott Sheppard and David Jewitt of the University of Hawaii and Jan Kleyna of Cambridge University announced the discovery of eight new moons of Jupiter and one new moon of Saturn. Jupiter now has 60 known moons and Saturn has 31 moons that have been discovered to date. The new moons were discovered using telescopes on the top of the volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The eight newest moons of Jupiter will be known as S/2003 J13 through J20 for now; permanent names will be assigned later. All eight are very small, having diameters of about two to three kilometers (a mile or two). Sheppard, Jewitt, and Kleyna had discovered 12 new moons of Jupiter earlier this year. Astronomers think there may be as many as 100 moons with diameters of one kilometer or larger orbiting Jupiter, so don't be surprised if more moons of the Solar System's largest planet are discovered soon!

The new moon of Saturn is known as S/2003 S1 for now. It is about eight kilometers (five miles) across, and is the first new moon of Saturn discovered since December 2000. Scientists think the Cassini spacecraft may discover many more moons orbiting Saturn when it arrives at and goes into orbit around the ringed planet in 2004.

Last modified April 17, 2003 by Randy Russell.

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