Twelve new moons have been discovered around Jupiter, including a rogue "oddball" that seems determined to orbit in the opposite direction, kind of like a car going against traffic on the highway.
This means that 79 known moons are circling the giant gas planet, which is more than a third of all the moons in our solar system, Business Insider noted.
A team led by Carnegie's Scott S. Sheppard first spotted the moons in the spring of 2017 but it took a year before the discovery could be confirmed through follow-up observations.
The Juno probe has already revealed some fascinating facts about the planet and this most recent discovery just adds to Jupiter's intrigue.
We know that Jupiter has a powerful gravitational pull that allows it to capture large passing objects, which is probably how it acquired the moons that may have collided with one another at some point to produce dozens of new, smaller moons.
Of these newly discovered moons, nine orbit in the opposite direction of Jupiter's spin rotation while two orbit closer to the planet in the same direction as its rotation.
The 12th moon is a little different.
"Our other discovery is a real oddball and has an orbit like no other known Jovian moon," Sheppard said in a statement. "It's also likely Jupiter's smallest known moon, being less than one kilometer in diameter."
Jupiter's moons all follow their own path, and they stick to their lanes as they circle the planet however, the last moon does not do this.
Instead it crosses into the paths of the outer nine moons orbiting in the opposite direction, presenting what Sheppard has described as a "very unstable situation," Busines Insider noted.
Sheppard and his team are somewhat fond of the rebellious 12th moon and have even proposed it be named "Valetudo." The rest, he said, the public could help out in naming.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.