Two new moons discovered orbiting around Jupiter during search for Planet X

New monster telescopes equipped with the latest super-sensitive, wide-field technology detectors has been a boon for astronomical discoveries.

Astronomer Scott Sheppard has discovered two new moons around Jupiter bringing the total of known moons to 69 while looking for Planet X and other very distant objects in the outer solar system.

jupiter new moons june 2017, 2 New moons discovered around Jupiter on June 2017, The great majority of Jupiter's 69 known moons travel in retrograde orbits, meaning they travel in the direction opposite the planet's spin, 2 new moons jupiter, Two new moons have been discovered around Jupiter, jupiter 2 new moons
2 New moons discoered around Jupiter on June 2017: The great majority of Jupiter’s 69 known moons travel in retrograde orbits, meaning they travel in the direction opposite the planet’s spin. via Sky and Telescope

Continuing his survey looking for Planet X and other very distant objects in the outer solar system, astronomer Scott Sheppard discovered two new barely visible moons, S/2016 J 1 and S/2017 J 1 (“S” for satellite, “J” for Jupiter), around Jupiter. For now all that’s really known is the character of their orbits:

S/2016 J 1: Sheppard discovered this moonlet during an observing run on March 8, 2016, with the 6.5-m Magellan-Baade reflector at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Averaging 20,600,000 from Jupiter, it’s in an elongated orbit inclined 140° with an eccentricity of 0.14. It takes 1.65 years to orbit the planet.

2 new moons jupiter, Two new moons have been discovered around Jupiter, jupiter 2 new moons
Two new moons have been discovered around Jupiter. Moon: S/2016 J 1 via Sky and Telescope

S/2017 J 1: The second new find was recorded on March 23, 2017, using the venerable 4-m Victor Blanco reflector at Cerro Tololo Inter-american Observatory in Chile. This moon likewise is far from Jupiter, at an average distance of 23,500,000 km. In this very elongated orbit, inclined 149° with an eccentricity of 0.40, the moonlet takes 2.01 years to go around Jupiter.

2 new moons jupiter, Two new moons have been discovered around Jupiter, jupiter 2 new moons
Two new moons have been discovered around Jupiter. Moon: S/2017 J 1 via Sky and Telescope

Continuing their survey looking for Planet X, let’s hope that astronomers will make other unexpected discoveries n the outer solar system.

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