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Scientist Discover a New Moon in Our Solar System

Scientist Discover a New Moon in Our Solar System 1

Neptune had a previous moon count of 13, but scientists have found yet another bringing the count now to 14.

via unexplained-mysteries:

Scientists have successfully identified an entirely new moon in orbit around the gas giant Neptune.

Named Hippocamp after a sea creature of Greek mythology, the new moon was discovered in images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope using cutting-edge image processing techniques.

It had appeared in photographs as far back as 2004 but had gone unnoticed until now.

At a mere 34km across, it is the smallest of Neptune’s moons.

Scientists believe that it formed from the debris produced when an object struck Proteus – another of Neptune’s moons – as evidenced by a large crater on its surface.

“Proteus sports an unusually large crater called Pharos – a telltale sign that the moon might have barely escaped destruction by impact,” wrote astronomer Anne J. Verbiscer.

“Whenever this impact occurred, it no doubt launched debris into orbit around Neptune.”

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It is hoped that the discovery will help to shed light on how Neptune’s other moons formed as well.



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