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.