Will we be able to see the collision on Jupiter?
“Valetudo is like driving down the highway on the wrong side of the road,” said Sheppard.
Researchers in the US discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter while searching for the mysterious ninth planet. It is speculated that the ninth planets revolve around the sun in an orbit far beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Scott Sheppard, an astronomer, who led the discovery team said: “We’re looking for new possible planets and dwarf planets in our solar system, just seeing what is out there.”
Jupiter is the oldest and largest planet in our solar system. Now the number of Jovian moons have increased to 79. These moons were founded in March 2017 by the astronomers at Carnegie institution for science. However, it took more than a year to confirm that they are in a fixed orbit.
“It’s like looking through a straw, and you’re just covering as many points around Jupiter as you can looking for these things,” says Sheppard.
Two of the dozen are closer to Jupiter and are prograde(revolve in the same direction of planet’s spin). About 15 million miles, 9 planets are in the retrograde(revolves in the opposite direction of planet’s spin) group. The last one was described as an “oddball” by the researchers.
Astronomers named the last moon after the Roman goddess of hygiene, Valetudo, who was the great-granddaughter of god Jupiter. But this moon
is in the region of retrogrades moons and is moving prograde. This means there is a high possibility of a moon to moon collision.
“Collisions don’t happen all that frequently, every billion years or so,” said Sheppard. Furthermore, he added, “If one did happen, we would be able to detect it from Earth, but it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.”