That beats Jupiter and its 79 moons. Sheppard had previously led a team in discovering of 10 new moons around Jupiter, announced past year, using the 6.5-m Magellan-Baade reflector Las Campanas and the 4.0-m Blanco reflector on Cerro Tololo.
"These moons are the remnants of the objects that helped form the planets, so by studying them, we are learning about what the planets formed from", Sheppard said.
"I was so thrilled with the amount of public engagement over the Jupiter moon-naming contest that we've chose to do another one to name these newly discovered Saturnian moons", Sheppard said. Of the 20 moons, which are tiny at just three miles across, 17 have retrograde orbits, meaning "their motion is reverse of the planet's rotation around its axis", following an information release asserting the discovery. "We have received several requests to name a new moon "Moony McMoonface", Sheppard said". Sheppard said Jupiter was the planet with most known moons since the late 1990s, according to BBC News. Researchers believe the moons are the fragments of at least three larger ones, which were broken apart by collisions, according to the BBC.
The newly identified small moons, ranging from about 2 to 4 miles (3 to 6 km) in diameter, were detected using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii by a research team led by astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington.More news: Kevin Hart Breaks Silence Following Severe Car Crash, Sets Hiatus
Artist's conception of the 20 newly discovered moons orbiting Saturn, showing the three groupings and direction of orbit. Of the remaining three moons, one is Earth's own while the other two are with Mars.
"It was fun to find that Saturn is the true moon king", Sheppard told the Associated Press.
"These new moons show us the solar system was a very chaotic place in the distant past, with objects flying all over the place".
The submissions for the one new moon part of the Gallic group should be based on giants from Gallic mythology.More news: Google launches detailed voice guidance in Maps for those with visual impairments
Of the 20 new moons, 17 are orbiting the moon "backwards", that is, in a direction opposite to the planet's motion. One moon, which is also prograde but belongs to a different group, is to be named for a giant in Gallic mythology. By comparing images over time, the team could identify which dots of light were stationary stars and galaxies versus which were moons orbiting Saturn.
Several others suggested naming the moons after members of the Korean pop band BTS.
The contest opened Monday, Oct. 7, and could well also poke by December 6.
Two of the newly discovered prograde moons fit into a group of outer moons with inclinations of about 46 degrees called the Inuit group. Such groups of outer moons also appear around Jupiter, says Sheppard. The retrograde moons join the Norse group (all named after Norse mythology), while two others join the Inuit group (named for Inuit mythology), and the final moon goes with the Gallic group (again, mythology).More news: Younger generations more likely to quit job for mental health reasons
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