Saturn cements itself as the planet with the most moons

The International Astronomical Union will be recognizing 62 additional moons of Saturn, setting its total number of moons at 145, making it the planet in our solar system with the most moons. 

In fact, with this number of moons, Saturn outnumbers the number of moons that the rest of the planets in our solar system combined, according to Professor Brett Gladman, an astronomer working at the University of British Columbia.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a large cyclone storm, is shown beside its four largest moons(top to bottom): Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The Great Red Spot is around 300 years old and winds flow at around 250 miles an hour. (NASA)
Pan, one of Saturn’s recently discovered moons is shown. These two images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft show how the spacecraft’s perspective changed as it passed within 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) of Saturn’s moon Pan on March 7, 2017. (NASA)

The reason for these new moons are previous moon-moon collisions, according to the Guardian, explaining their small and uneven structures.  Callisto, around 4,921 kilometers wide, while other smaller ones, such as Leda, around 10 kilometers wide are examples of the tremendous difference in size among Saturns moon’s. Saturn’s moons are considerably tiny as well; in fact, Pan is around 14 kilometers wide. 

The majority of these satellites were actually discovered a while ago, discovery dates range from 2006 to 2020, as recorded on NASA’s star catalog. Why the International Astronomical Union has not recognized them till now is not known. 

Recognizing moons is vital to understanding planetary development, and in Saturn’s case, discovering more moons will help us understand the planet itself.

A picture of Saturn highlighting its rings is pictured. Cassini-Huygens mission which gathered these images has spent 20 years in space gathering nearly 500,000 images. (NASA)

Regardless, Saturn is the certain winner in this competition of which planet holds the most moons, and will like be so for a long time.