About twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found and identified recently. 11 among these are normal outer moons and one is being called as an ’oddball’. With this now the total number of Jupiter’s known moons are 79 which is the most any of the planet in our solar system has.
A team which is led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard has identified the moons in the year 2017 while they were in search of faraway solar system objects as a part of the search for the presence of some massive planet which is present beyond Pluto.
In the year 2014, the same team has found the object in a very distant orbit but well known in our solar system. And they were the first one to know and understand that an unknown massive planet at the border of our solar system, actually very far beyond Pluto have the capability to explain the similarity of the orbits of many of the small objects which are at an extremely far distance.
This putative planet is now known as Planet X popularly or as Planet Nine. In this search team, the other participants are Chad Trujillo from Northern Arizona University and Dave Tholen from the University of Hawaii.
Sheppard said that “Jupiter is just present in the sky nearby the search field where we are searching for a very far solar system object, so we also came across accidentally at the right place and were able to identify new moons present around the Jupiter while simultaneously we were searching and looking for planets at the border of our solar system.”
For the calculation of the orbits present for the moons found recently Gareth Williams made use of the observations made by the team.“ A number of observations are demanded to make sure that an object is really present there in the orbit around the Jupiter”, he said. And therefore the entire process took almost a year.
Among the new moons, nine is the part of far away outer swarms of moons which orbit it in the opposite direction to that of Jupiter’s spin rotation. These far away present retrograde moons are clubbed in a group of three different orbital groupings and are believed as the remnants of three once very large parent bodies which broke because of collisions with comets or the other moons. The present new discovered retrograde moons take almost two years to complete the orbit of Jupiter.