Saturn beats Jupiter in moons
Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most moons.
Twenty new moons have been found around Saturn, giving the ringed planet a total of 82 moons, scientists said. That beats Jupiter and its 79 moons.
If it’s any consolation to the Jupiter crowd, our solar system’s biggest planet – Jupiter – still has the biggest moon. Jupiter’s Ganymede is almost half the size of Earth. By contrast, Saturn’s 20 new moons are minuscule, each barely 3 miles (5 kilometres) in diameter.
The scientists used a telescope in Hawaii to spot Saturn’s 20 new moons over the summer. About 100 even tinier moons may be orbiting Saturn, still waiting to be found.
Astronomers have pretty much completed the inventory of moons as small as 5 kilometres around Saturn and 1.6 kilometres around Jupiter. Future larger telescopes will be needed to see anything smaller.
It’s harder spotting mini-moons around Saturn than Jupiter, given how much farther Saturn is.
Since Saturn is less dense than water, it would actually float like an apple if you could find a pool large enough!