Every year from October 4-10, countries around the world celebrate World Space Week. This years theme is “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars” as this year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. While this years theme focused on Earth’s moon, exciting news was revealed during Space Week about Saturn’s moons. With the use of giant telescopes, researchers around the globe are counting the number of moons around planets. Their aim in conducting this research is to determine how planets in our solar system developed and change over time. Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute of Science led the research team that discovered 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. This means Saturn has 82 moons, surpassing Jupiter which has 79 known moons.
In 2018, Sheppard was also credited with the discovery of 12 new moons surrounding Jupiter. When this occurred, a contest was held to name 5 of the moons, but this time there will be a naming contest for all of Saturn’s 20 new moons! If you’d like to submit a name, Tweet @SaturnLunacy with the name and why you chose it. The only rule is that the names must be from Norse, Gallic, or Inuit mythology. Learn more about the discovery of these moons here.
Featured Image Credit: Illustration: Carnegie Institution for Science. Saturn image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Starry background courtesy of Paolo Sartorio/Shutterstock