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Hobbyist Discovers New Jupiter Moon

Uh, surprise? Amateur astronomer Kai Ly discovered a new moon for the planet Jupiter. Ly managed to identify the new moon by scanning datasets from 2003. While new moons are being discovered periodically, the hobbyist also managed to identify and recover 5 lost Jovian moons

Ly started examining images taken in February, 2003, in early June of this year. While they initially tracked 3 potential moons, there wasn't enough data to recover 2 of them. They were able to confirm that the third, designated EJc0061, was bound to Jupiter. In all 76 observations gathered from an observation period spanning 15.26 years was enough for Ly to conclude that the orbit of this new moon was secured for decades.
This new moon, discovered by Ly, may have company in the coming years. Last year, Edward Ashton, Matthew Beaudoin, and Brett J. Gladman spotted around 4 dozen objects, as small as 800 meters, in Jupiter's orbit. While they didn't prove these objects were Jovian moons, the group suggests that there is a possibility of up to 600 satellites. The development of more sophisticated telescopes in the coming years will help astronomers confirm these possibilities.

Image credit: NASA


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