5/17/02 4:20:13 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Eleven new moons found orbiting Jupiter
May 17 2002
American astronomers announced they had discovered 11 new
moons around Jupiter, which brings the total number of
satellites orbiting the planet to 39.
The discovery places Jupiter as the planet with the most
satellites, ahead of Saturn, which has 30, astronomers at
the University of Hawaii said on Thursday.
The discovery was made mid-December 2001 using the
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) by university
astronomers led by Scott Sheppard and David Jewill.
The CFHT, located in Mauna Kea on the main island of Hawaii,
is equipped with a numeric high resolution camera called the
The new moons have diameters ranging between two and four
kilometres, and all are irregular in shape, and have
eccentric orbits with steep slopes.
The photos were analysed using powerful computers, and the
moons identified then followed for several months by the
University of Hawaii telescope, also located at Mauna Kea.
Close scrutiny confirmed the satellites' orbits showing they
were moons and not asteroids.
Jupiter's four main moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and