Twenty moons have been discovered orbiting Saturn – and scientists want the help of the public to name them, according to a report from the Carnegie Institution for Science. The new discovery brings the common moons around "the jewel of our solar system" to 82.
The new moons are about 3 miles in diameter and 17 orbits Saturn back, or in the opposite direction, the planet rotates around its own axis, according to the publication. This movement is known as the retrograde direction. The other three moons orbit the mountain – or in the same direction as the planet.
It takes three years for most of the moons to complete orbiting the gas giant, while two of the lunar proxies located closer to the planet have been orbiting it for only about two years.
"The study of the orbits of these moons can reveal their origin, as well as information about the conditions around Saturn during its formation," institution scientist Scott S., according to Sheppard.
The 20 new moons were seen using a Subaru telescope located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii by a team led by Sheppard .
"Using some of the largest telescopes in the world, we are now completing an inventory of small moons around giant planets," Sheppard said. "They play a crucial role in helping us determine how the planets of our solar system have evolved and evolved. . "
Now the planet has the most moons, surpassing 79 moons of Jupiter. Sheppard said Jupiter is the planet with the most famous moons since the late 1990s, according to BBC News. The discovery was revealed on Monday by the International Astronomical Union's Small Planet Center, Carnegie Science reports.
Fifty-three moons of Saturn have been confirmed and named, while 29 are awaiting confirmation of "discovery and official naming," according to NASA.  The institution writes that Saturn's outer moons "appear to be grouped into three distinct" groups "because of the" angles at which they orbit around the planet. " "Researchers believe the moons are fragments of at least three larger ones that have been broken by collisions, according to the BBC.
" This type of cluster of outer moons is also observed around Jupiter, indicating that strong moons have occurred collisions between moons in the Saturn system or with external objects, such as passing asteroids or comets, "Sheppard said.
Sheppard is no stranger to finding natural moons – he found 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter in 2018. The Carnegie Institute of Science held a competition to name five of them and do the same this year, but for all 20 moons.
"I was so excited by the amount of public engagement during the Jupiter Moon Naming Competition that we decided to do another to name these newly discovered Saturnian moons," Sheppard said. "This time the moons have to be named after giants of Norwegian, Gaelic or Inuit mythology."
The competition begins on Monday and ends on December 6. Those with ideas are instructed to tweet their proposed name to @SaturnLunacy on Twitter and explain why they chose the monument.