A new proof that we have not discovered everything about our solar system : NASA announced this monday that Hubble discovered a new moon of Neptune. It is actually the smallest moon of the planet.

With a diameter of 19 km, S/2004 N 1 (provisional name of the moon) orbits at a distance of more than 105,000 km from Neptune (between the orbits of Larissa and Proteus) and makes a complete revolution in about 23 hours. According to NASA, the moon shines about 100 million times less than the palest of stars which can be seen to the naked eye.

With its small size, S/2004 N 1 escaped Voyager 2. Indeed, without knowing it, the space probe was near the moon while it studied all Neptune system in 1989. But finally, it's with about 150 photos taken by Hubble of Neptune system between 2004 and 2009 that astronomers found a little white point orbiting around Neptune. The confirmation of the existence of this moon is announced on July 1st by Mark Showalter for SETI Institute in Mountain View (source : maxisciences.com, french post)

The real name of S/2004 N 1 will be announced in the next days or the next weeks by NASA. And maybe, it won't be the last moon that we can find in our solar system. Who knows ?

1 comment

  1. If You succeed to define the tangential velocity of revolving star, you can calculate the velocity of birth of each belonging planet and by that its own centripetal acceleration and from here the ratio between its mass and size.

    The same is in force about the planets as well and you can calculate which from these objects are moons and which are not (for example comets or other objects).

    See USM: www.kanevuniverse.com

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