Astronomers have observed 12 additional moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing its total number of confirmed moons to 92.
The discovery was made during observations by astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science and his team. They used the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii in September 2021 and the Dark Energy Camera located on the Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile in August 2022. The Dark Energy Camera can survey the sky for faint objects.
Jupiter and its natural satellites were in alignment with more distant targets that Sheppard and his team have been seeking in the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy objects circling the sun that’s located past the orbit of Neptune on the edge of the solar system.
“We have been surveying for new moons around Jupiter serendipitously while our main survey is looking for planets in the outer solar system beyond Pluto,” Sheppard said.
Read more: Jupiter now has 92 moons after new discovery