Twenty new Saturn moons have been discovered, bringing the moon count of the ringed planet to 82-three more than Jupiter, which has 79 orbiting planets, according to an International Astronomical Union announcement made on Monday.
“Studying these moons ’ orbits could disclose their origins as well as data on the conditions surrounding Saturn when it was created,” team leader Scott Sheppard said in a statement.
Three of the moons in prograde Saturn, meaning they are orbiting the planet in the same direction as it is spinning.
Seventeen of the moons orbit Saturn in retrograde, meaning they orbit the planet in the opposite direction of its rotation.
Two of the 20 newly discovered moons orbit close to Saturn, which takes nearly two years to circle the planet
Too, there were members of the Norse moon group, which includes all the retrograde moons newly discovered.
The third newly discovered prograde moon belongs to the Gallic band, which has an average inclination angle of about 36 degrees and one of the prograde moons has the farthest spreading orbit.