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CosmosUp | September 22, 2023

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Hubble Discovered A Small Moon

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Hubble Discovered A Small Moon

A new small moon was discovered encircling around Neptune, making it the 14th known Moon to this day that orbits around this distant planet in our Solar System.

The new Moon is the smallest of all that orbits around Neptune and has a diameter of only 19 km, according to the observations that taken with NASA’ Hubble telescope.

At the same time, Neptune is the eighth and last planet in the solar system. The new satellite, named S/2004 N1 is about 100 million times fainter than the dimmest star that can be seen with the naked eye, so it was not observed by Voyager 2 in 1998, when it passed Neptune.

NASA’ Astronomers have spotted a white dot appears regularly in over 150 photographs taken by Hubble between 2004 and 2009. The satellite was discovered on July 1 by Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Scientists believe that S/2004 N1 needs 23 hours to make one complete revolution around the planet Neptune.

The moons and arcs [segments of rings around the planet] orbit very quickly, so we had to devise a way to follow their motion in order to bring out the details of the system,

Mark Showalter, the moon’s discoverer, said.

It’s the same reason a sports photographer tracks a running athlete — the athlete stays in focus, but the background blurs.

Bottom line: The Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990 and has been beaming back amazing images of celestial sights ever since. NASA officials hope to keep the venerable space telescope in operation until at least 2018 when its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is expected to launch.


  1. Laurel Kornfeld

    Neptune is not the last planet in the solar system. That would be either Eris or Sedna. Please do not blindly accept the controversial IAU statement that dwarf planets are not planets, which was done against the will of the person who first coined the term “dwarf planet,” astronomer Dr. Alan Stern. As he intended, dwarf planets constitute a third class of planets in addition to terrestrials and jovians, small planets large enough and massive enough to be rounded by their own gravity but not large enough or massive enough to gravitationally dominate their orbits. Ceres, being spherical, is a small planet, making Neptune the ninth planet, followed by Pluto, Charon, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, and Sedna.

    • Oz Ramos

      Who cares what Alan Stern intended, the fact is “dwarf planet” means something different *today*. Words do that all the time. If we go by what he proposes, then actually Neptune wouldn’t even be the 9th, it would be the umpteenth planet since he also proposes any object larger than Mercury to be considered a planet…technically a “satellite planet”.

      It’s not necessarily that people accept things blindly, it’s that you have an entire organization dedicated to this sort of stuff vs a few individuals. Obviously organizations are wrong all the time, but I say this because you come off as slightly anti-IAU.

  2. Adeyefa burla

    @laurel,i dnt knw d reason y u’ve 2set back an argument on dis. it has bin statd &explained just as u knew about.&accordin 2publications,it was statd dat NASA had sat 4series of meetin on dis issue 4serious discussion &finaly com about a conclusn. i tink u suspnd or 4get about propoundin new planetary theory or phenomenor &let move 4ward in 2geda in science research. In addition,we hav 2conclud on a sigle sense of prove 2make dis theory added in2 all academic textbks. book publishers are waiting 4our conclusion in other 2add it up 2all educational bks.

    • Jerry

      I’m not sure what your first language is, but your comment is incomprehensible to those 2of us English speaking readers.

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