You don’t have to be a genius to suspect that Jupiter might actually have the most moons in the Solar System, although until recently, astronomers thought that Saturn holds that title. Jupiter is significantly larger; in fact, it’s the biggest planet in the Solar System.
The gas giant Jupiter has just shattered records as it now boasts the largest collection of moons with the recent discovery of 12 additional natural satellites, bringing its total to a staggering 92, according to Space.com. The newly found Jovian satellites were monitored and tracked by astronomer Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institute of Science and reported to the Minor Planet Center. It took some time to confirm the discovery as the astronomers had to observe the moons complete an orbit around Jupiter before making the official announcement.
Jupiter takes the lead
Jupiter has several important moons that stand out from the rest. Io is the largest of Jupiter’s Galilean moons and is known for its active volcanism. Europa is considered one of the most promising candidates for extraterrestrial life due to the presence of a subsurface ocean. Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, is a unique world with a mixture of rock and ice. Callisto is one of the largest and most heavily cratered moons in the solar system. These moons, also known as the Galilean moons, were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610 and were some of the first objects studied in detail beyond the Earth and the Moon.
As for Saturn, it has several significant moons that are of particular interest to astronomers and scientists. The largest moon, Titan, has a thick atmosphere and surface features that are reminiscent of those on Earth. Enceladus is a small, icy moon that shoots water vapor and ice particles from its subsurface ocean. Iapetus is a unique moon with one half that is incredibly bright and the other half that is very dark. Rhea, the second-largest moon of Saturn, is the largest moon without a significant atmosphere.
These moons and others have been extensively studied through various spacecraft missions, including the Cassini-Huygens mission, and have provided valuable information about the Saturnian system and the formation of the solar system.
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