Jupiter has twelve new moons and scientists want your help in naming five of them

The new moons bring Jupiter's total count to 79, making it the most moon-rich planet in our system.


The Carnegie Institution for Science has accidentally discovered twelve new moons circling Jupiter. But it looks like naming all of them proved a little much, and the organisation has announced a contest on Twitter to name five of them.

While the contest is open to anyone wishing to participate, there are rules — strict rules so people don't get "too" creative, or repeat pre-existing names of other celestial bodies or asteroids.

One of the 12 rules (set by the International Astronomical Union), entries must be 16 characters or less and cannot closely resemble names already given to pre-existing moons or other celestial bodies like asteroids.

Jupiter's newly-discovered moons. Image credit: Carnegie Institution for Science

Jupiter's newly-discovered moons. Image credit: Carnegie Institution for Science

Another no-go areas are names that are offensive in any language or culture or related to a company, individual, place, or of any political, military, or religious significance. Names that commemorate people who are still alive will also be rejected.

And those are just the most general of the rules.

If you're fairly familiar with Greek and Roman history and have any names in mind for Jupiter's new moons, head over to Twitter and send your suggestions to @JupiterLunacy with the hashtag #NameJupitersMoons.

The contest closes on 15 April this year.

Researchers at Carnegie announced the discovery in July 2018, when astronomers everywhere were deep in the search for a possible planet beyond Pluto, dubbed 'Planet X' or 'Planet 9'.

The discovery brought Jupiter's total moon-count to 79, making it the only planet to have as many moons in our solar system.


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