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20 'New' Moons Spotted Orbiting Saturn

By Tim Binnall

Astronomers have discovered 20 heretofore unidentified moons orbiting Saturn, which gives the gas giant the title for the planet with the most satellites in our solar system. The record-breaking finds were reportedly made by a team of researchers from the Carnegie Institute of Science. The discovery brings the total number of moons circling Saturn to 82, which is three more than have been found orbiting Jupiter.

Each of the 'new' moons measures around 3 miles across and seventeen of the bodies orbit in the opposite direction of the planet's rotation. "Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation," lead researcher Scott Sheppard explained in a statement announcing the discovery.

As for what the moons will be called, the Carnegie Institute is actually turning that task over to the public by way of a contest in which people can submit suggested names for the newfound celestial bodies. However, before you start petitioning to have one of them named after you, there are some restrictions as, in honor of Saturn's sizeable nature, "the moons must be named after giants from Norse, Gallic or Inuit mythology."

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