Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Hubble" mini-moon in Neptune discovered - Heise Newsticker

Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope on the planet Neptune a 14 Discovered moon. With an estimated 16 to 20 kilometers in diameter this mini-satellite is flying by even the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989 escaped. The smallest previously known companion of the gigantic blue gas planet Neptune was still baptized in no name. He is considered by the U.S. space agency NASA as S/2004 N 1st

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The little moon S/2004 N 1 on its orbit around Neptune
Image: NASA

Showalter had according to NASA announcement spied the mini-moon, as he examined the ring system of the outermost planet in our solar system with Hubble. Neptune also has rings like Saturn, but these are much smaller and less noticeable. A total of 150 Showalter processed archival footage of the Hubble were made between 2004 and 2009 and found that the ring system of Neptune shone a weak spot. This spot, according to NASA data roughly 100 million times fainter than the faintest star visible to the naked eye, turned out to be tiny Trabant.

This lies between the orbits of the moons Larissa and Proteus and orbits according to calculations the blue planet every 23 hours at a distance of about 100,000 kilometers. With Neptune now has 14 constellations occupies a central place in our solar system. The planet with the most moons is the gas giant Jupiter. With him, astronomers have discovered so far at least 67 moons. Saturn has at least 62 moons and Uranus at least 27 (With material from dpa) / ( Manuel Nitschke ) / (axk)

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