Putting out the trash a day early, playing loud music at all hours, never getting around to fixing that fence.
The worst-case scenario for Valetudo? Whether that be an exoplanet orbiting a distant star or perhaps a still-unseen planet lurking at the edge of the Solar System, it’s a challenging endeavor.
PALCA: Many of Jupiter’s moons form from the same spinning disk of stuff that eventually coalesce to form the planet.
“The giant planets formed out of material that used to be in that region”. Galileo discovered the four biggest ones back in the 17th century, and a lot of smaller ones have been found as telescopes and techniques have improved.
Valetudo, as spotted through the Magellan telescope in May 2018.
Our solar system is full of moons of many different kinds, just as diverse and unbelievable as the planets they orbit.
Astronomers have found 12 previously unknown moons circling Jupiter, including one “oddball” whose days are numbered, due to its highly unusual orbit.
“The most interesting find is this object we’re calling Valetudo”, Sheppard says.
Sheppard and his team already proposed a name for the rebel moon. Until the announcement this morning by the International Astronomical Union of the discovery of an additional 10 moons about the gas-giant planet.
The moons Sheppard spied are farther-flung and tiny, each no more than two miles in diameter.
Because the new moons are a few kilometers in size, the team thinks that the impacts that created the satellites likely took place after the era of planet formation ended. This outlier is like no other moon orbiting Jupiter. Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon and the largest in the Solar System, the diameter is approximately 5,300 kilometers (about 3,300 miles).
Because Jupiter moves across the sky at a known speed, anything nearby moving at the same speed in the same direction becomes a candidate for a moon – but confirmation is a time-consuming process, Sheppard explained to ScienceAlert. This is because these outer moons are huddled together in three orbital groupings, which point to three separate origin sources. Most of these prograde moons take less than a year to travel around the planet. So a telescope isn’t able to capture much more than the moons’ orbits.
“This moon is going down the highway the wrong way”, Sheppard said.
However, don’t hold your breath waiting to witness Valetudo crash with one of its neighbors-Sheppard has said that collisions only occur about once in a billion years. He and his team have been photographing the skies with some of today’s best telescope technology, hoping to catch sight of this mysterious ninth planet.
The view from the Chilean mountaintop taught researchers a lot, but there’s more to learn.
The moons were first discovered during the search for Planet X, the hunt for a massive planet beyond Pluto.
Because Jupiter is also a bright planet, astronomers have had to deal with the issue of glare and scattered light affecting the space where moons can exist. “These objects are probably some intermediate-type composition, half-rock and half-ice, something like that”.