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Jupiter’s New Moons

MANY MOONS Ganymede (right) is Jupiter’s largest moon. Twelve more have just been found, for a total of 92. NASA/GODDARD

Astronomers have discovered 12 more moons orbiting Jupiter. The planet’s moon count now stands at 92. That’s more than any other planet in our solar system.

The new moons were spotted using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. It took scientists about a year to confirm the discovery. The moons are small, no bigger than two miles across. Jupiter has many small moons that could be pieces of bigger moons that collided with comets, asteroids, or other moons.

“I hope we can image one of these outer moons close-up,” says Scott Sheppard, of the Carnegie Institution for Science, in Washington, D.C. He was on the discovery team. Sheppard wants “to better determine [the moons’] origins.” He suspects more of Jupiter’s moons have yet to be found.