Saturn added 20 new satellites, with a total of 82, surpassing Jupiter’s 72

There are eight planets in the solar system and three in the habitable zone, Venus, earth and Mars. On the outside of Mars is Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. It is the largest planet in the solar system, and the other seven planets are not as big as Jupiter. Besides Jupiter, the second largest planet in the solar system is Saturn.

Both Jupiter and Saturn are gas giant planets. Due to the status of big brother of mass, Jupiter has the largest gravity. Relying on the powerful charm of gravity, many small celestial bodies are attracted to orbit around it. In this way, the number of Jupiter’s satellites has reached 79, which is the planet with the largest number of satellites in the solar system. Compared with the earth, there is only one satellite, which is really miserable.

Jupiter has won two first places in the solar system, the largest planet and the largest moon. As the second planet, Saturn is naturally unconvinced. But its mass is not as big as Jupiter’s, and its attraction is not enough, so it can’t compete with Jupiter’s sister through gravity. So Saturn came up with a trick to create a magnificent planetary ring, making it the brightest existence in the solar system except the earth.

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Saturn relies on the rings of Saturn to compete with Jupiter, which also attracts many sister celestial bodies to become its satellites. Finally, with 62 moons, Saturn is still the second largest satellite in the world. So is Saturn willing to be number two forever? Of course, it’s impossible. Recently, the asteroid center of the International Astronomical Union announced that Scott S. Shepard of the Carnegie Institution for science of the United States will be appointed. Sheppard’s team found 20 new satellites orbiting Saturn, bringing the total number of satellites of the solar system’s second largest planet to 82, surpassing Jupiter’s 79.

This news excited Saturn. Thank you so much to the earth’s human beings and scientists. After billions of years of being in second place, we finally have a big brother who can surpass Jupiter. Although the mass can’t be compared with that of Jupiter, the number of moons now exceeds that of Jupiter. One of Jupiter’s Two Firsts has been taken away by Saturn, and the billions of years of competition between Jupiter and Saturn has finally been tied.

However, these newly discovered moons of Saturn are very small. If they were relatively large, they might have been discovered long ago. They are about 5 kilometers in diameter, and 17 of the 20 are retrograde. Two of the moons are relatively close to Saturn, but even so, it takes about two years to go around it. More distant satellites need more than three years to complete an orbital cycle.

Their orbital inclination is relatively large, which is a typical feature of outer satellites (unconventional satellites). There are 24 satellites of Saturn, which are relatively close to Saturn. More importantly, their rotation direction is the same as that of Saturn, and they are near the equatorial plane of Saturn. On the outside, there are many small satellites with special orbits, which are classified as irregular satellites.

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Saturn may have magnificent rings. Although there are many of Saturn’s moons, their orbits are very different. According to the inclination and rotation direction, scientists divide them into three groups: Gaul group, Norway group and Inuit group.

The satellites of “Gaul” group are all anterograde, with orbital inclination of 35 ° to 40 ° and eccentricity of about 0.53. Among the 20 new satellites discovered this time, only one is close to the characteristics of the Gaolu group.

The “Norway” group is characterized by “reverse travel”, the inclination of the track is between 136 ° and 175 ° and the eccentricity range is very wide, from 0.13 to 0.77. Because of this, they can be divided into several subgroups. In the long past, Saturn may have captured an asteroid, then disintegrated into many pieces under the action of tidal force, and gradually formed this group. Most of the newly discovered satellites belong to this category, and one of them is the farthest from Saturn at present.

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The inclination of “Inuit” orbit is 40 ° to 50 ° and the eccentricity is 0.15 to 0.48. This kind of satellite may also be formed by a larger satellite split in history. Two of the new satellites belong to this group.

Saturn’s satellite orbital layout is complex and diverse, and it has a spectacular ring of Saturn, so scientists also call the Saturn System “small solar system”, or “solar system laboratory”, which may be more important than the Jupiter system. Scientists hope to study and explore the appearance of the solar system when it was born by studying the Saturn system.

Although Saturn has taken one of the two firsts of Saturn, in the hearts of more than 7 billion people, Jupiter is still more important. The reason is that Jupiter is the patron saint of the earth. Without Jupiter, the probability of the earth being hit by an asteroid may be at least 1000 times higher. You know, asteroids are known as life terminators. 65 million years ago, an asteroid hit the earth, causing 80% of the extinction, including dinosaurs.

Thus, for a living planet, the threat of an asteroid is very great. Once it hits the earth and we are not able to intercept it, we will have the end of our destiny. And Jupiter’s orbit just blocks in front of the earth, with its huge body for the earth to block a lot of asteroid impact. In fact, most of Jupiter’s 79 moons are captured. These are relatively large objects. If there is no Jupiter or the mass of Jupiter is similar to that of Mars, these massive objects may collide with the earth, which is many times more powerful than the asteroid 65 million years ago.

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Of course, both Jupiter and Saturn will become important exploration targets for future human beings, especially some of their satellites. For example, Titan is the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere, and it also has an ocean of liquid methane on its surface, which is one of the most likely candidates for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

At present, with 20 newly discovered moons, Saturn has won the first place in the number of Jupiter’s moons. It’s hard to say whether this place will be stable forever. If you know that Saturn can have some very small moons, then Jupiter is also possible. There is still a long way to go in the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn, and there is no definite answer to how many celestial bodies exist in their orbits.

It is possible that in the future, with stronger observation equipment or detectors circling in Jupiter’s orbit, new satellites will be discovered. At that time, it is possible that Jupiter will regain the throne of the largest number of satellites. At this time, this position will let earth constellation for a while, and let it have a chance for a while. After all, I’ve been in the second place for billions of years, and I don’t know how frustrated I am.

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