more than two decades, Neptune’s moon Naiad has not been sighted: First Astronomers now have the 100 kilometer satellites rediscovered – in photos that sparked “Hubble” div
first time in 24 years, astronomers have spotted the innermost moon of the planet Neptune again. A team led by Mark Showalter from the Seti Institute in Mountain View, Calif., discovered only about 100 kilometers large moons called Naiad in observational data of the space telescope “Hubble”.
The researchers announced the sighting of the small moon at the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Research of the American Society astronomers AAS in Denver (U.S. state of Colorado).
Naiad only discovered in 1989
The innermost moon of Neptune was discovered in 1989 by the space probe “Voyager 2″. “Naiad was an elusive target observation, has left since Voyager, the Neptune system,” Showalter stressed in a statement by his institute.
Heaven On Earth, the planet Neptune about two million times thus appears brighter than its innermost satellite, and both is just a distance of one arc second, which is just under 0.0003 degrees. “This corresponds to the thickness of a human hair from 15 meters distance,” said Showalter.
analysis technique revealed the small moon
until a new analysis technique, which is comparatively Neptune glare can suppress the small moon finally revealed eight “Hubble” recordings from December 2004. Surprised the researchers there, the position of the satellites.
Naiad located far from its calculated position, the institute reported. Perhaps the gravity of other moons Neptune Naiad have accelerated to its orbit, the researchers speculate.
Neptune is the outermost planet of our solar system and about 4.5 billion kilometers 30 times further from the Sun than the Earth.