Student becomes first amateur astronomer to discover a moon orbiting Jupiter on their summer break after re-discovering four lost moons around the gas giant


  • An amateur astronomer has discovered a new moon orbiting Jupiter
  • The new moon, whose provisional name is EJc0061, totals 80. brings
  • It is a new member of the Carme group, a group of 22 other small moons that orbit the gas giant in the opposite direction of their spin.
  • “Their orbits are also elliptical and highly inclined with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane,” NASA says.
  • Researchers suggest Jupiter may have 600 moons

An amateur astronomer has discovered a new moon orbiting Jupiter, the first time a citizen scientist has done so.

Amateur star gazer Kai Lee pored over data collected by University of Hawaii researchers in February 2003 and found a new member of the Carme group, a group of 22 other small moons that orbit the gas giant in the opposite direction of its spin.

The new moon, which has a tentative name EJc0061 and brings the total number of moons to 80 (so far), is probably a fragment that breaks off Jupiter’s moon Carme and is part of the Carme group, a collection of 22 other moons.

Nonetheless, it was a major discovery that Lee described as a ‘summer hobby before returning to school’.

‘I am proud to say that this is the first planetary moon discovered by an amateur astronomer!’ Lee said in an interview sky and telescope.

Images of EJc0061 have not been publicly released yet.

An amateur astronomer discovered a new moon, known as EJc0061, orbiting Jupiter. In the picture Jupiter’s two moons, Ganymede and Europa, cast a shadow on the planet

Carme (pictured) is the largest of the Carme group with a radius of 14 miles, but it is not yet clear how wide EJc0061 is

Carme (pictured) is the largest of the Carme group with a radius of 14 miles, but it is not yet clear how wide EJc0061 is

Images taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in February 2003 highlighted the Moon’s luminosity, caused by a phenomenon known as opposition, when the Sun and the planet (in this case, Jupiter) are in opposite parts. according to earth’s sky Space.com.

The amateur astronomer also used another telescope to establish the 22-day arc of EJc0061, which confirmed that it was gravitationally bound to Jupiter, and thus, possibly a moon.

Unlike Jupiter’s other known 79 moons such as Ganymede and Europa, the Carme group orbits the planet opposite to its rotation.

From top to bottom (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto), a group known as the Galilean Moons

From top to bottom (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto), a group known as the Galilean Moons

The Galilean moons were discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in January 1610.  Also there are Carme moons, also known as retrograde groups.

The Galilean moons were discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in January 1610. Also there are Carme moons, also known as retrograde groups.

“Their orbits are also eccentric (elliptical rather than circular) and highly inclined with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane,” NASA wrote on its website.

In 2020, Ly retrieved the four ‘lost’ Jovian moons, a group of 23 moons. Jupiter’s largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, are known as the Galilean moons after they were discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in January 1610.

‘They are all very similar in colour-light red, except for the kalykee, which is significantly redder than the others. All of these features support the idea that the Carme satellite began as a captured asteroid, rather than formed as part of the original Jupiter system. None of the members of Carme are large enough to pull themselves into a sphere, so they are probably all irregularly shaped.’

Carme is the largest in the Carme group with a radius of 14 miles, but it is not yet clear how wide EJc0061 is.

It is likely that Carme was a D-type asteroid that suffered a collision and broke up into countless pieces.

In 2018, researchers confirmed the presence of 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, one of which is described as an ‘oddball’.

one discovery published In September 2020 researchers from the University of British Columbia suggested that the gas giant may actually have more than 600 moons, most of which are still waiting to be discovered.

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