Jupiter’s Moon Count Reaches 79, Including Tiny ‘Oddball’

A montage of Jupiter and its moons captured by Voyager 1 in 1979.  (NASA/JPL)

It’s getting more crowded around Jupiter. A team of astronomers is reporting the discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet.

That brings the number of moons at Jupiter to 79, the most of any planet. Saturn is next with 61.

The astronomers were looking for objects on the fringes of the solar system when they spotted the Jupiter moons. They found a dozen small moons. The confirmation of 10 was announced Tuesday; two were confirmed earlier. They’re calling one moon an ‘oddball’ because of its unusual orbit.

The scientists say the moons weren’t seen before because they are tiny — the biggest ones only about two miles across. Telescopes in Chile, Hawaii and Arizona were used for the discovery and confirmation.

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