Scientist Found A New Moon in Our Own Solar System

It’s been hiding this whole time in plane sight. And that in our own solar system.

A new moon that has been named Hippocamp. The Object has been found floating around Neptune.

It is the planet’s smallest moon, and behaves very strangely, in ways that could shed light on how it first formed.

Hippocamp had already been captured in previous images of the nearby planet. But astronomers’ technical abilities were not enough to actually spot it, and only now has the tiny world actually been noticed and catalogued.

When the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past Neptune in 1989, it spotted six small inner moons orbiting the planet. Each of them is very small, and much younger than Neptune, probably having formed soon after the planet’s largest moon called Triton arrived.

But new research shows that there had been another, unnoticed and tiny, moon floating near the planet. That takes the total number of moons around Neptune to 14 and sheds new light on the huge planet.

When the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past Neptune in 1989, it spotted six small inner moons orbiting the planet. Each of them is very small, and much younger than Neptune, probably having formed soon after the planet’s largest moon called Triton arrived.

But new research shows that there had been another, unnoticed and tiny, moon floating near the planet. That takes the total number of moons around Neptune to 14 and sheds new light on the huge planet.

The moon orbits close to Proteus, the biggest and furthest out of those inner moons. Astronomers say it is likely that Hippocamp was formed when fragments came off that bigger object when it was hit by a big comet.

They say it can’t be ruled out that Hippocamp was formed where it is now and has no connection to Proteus. But its tiny size and strange location suggests that it formed in a collision, helping shed light on how the rest of the Neptune system formed.

Isn’t it exciting that even within our own solar system we discover new things. We can only guess what still is waiting to be discovered.

 

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