This shows the relative position of the new satellites with respect to where Saturn resides. These moons are the outmost moons of Saturn.
Click on image for full size
Adapted from Image from Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur
Saturn Holds Title for Most Moons!
News story originally written on November 9, 2000
In the last 20 years, there have been many observations that lead us to think that Saturn
has many more small moons than we previously thought. In fact, October 26, 2000, a group of astronomers announced their discovery of 4 new moons of Saturn
. Good observations back the claim to these being true satellites. For now, their names are S/2000 S1, S/2000 S2, S/2000 S3 and S/2000 S4. They will be renamed once they are confirmed.
These new moons are very small moons (less than 50 km across) and are likely icy moons. They are the outermost of all of Saturn's moons.
Many other moons thought to be in orbit around Saturn have been reported during the last two decades. In some cases, there are not good observations of these moons and some think they were merely clumps of material and not really true satellites. It will be up to the Cassini probe's arrival in 2004 to confirm all of these moon sightings, including a verification of S/2000 S1-S4.
As of last week, Saturn's moon count was 18. Now that total rises to 22, but that total could certainly rise farther and farther as Cassini gets closer to the Saturnian system.
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