Saturn is now the leader of the Solar System with 146 moons
Using the ground-based telescope CFHT, Professor John J. Kavelaars and his colleagues from the University of British Columbia conducted a study from 2019-2021 predicting a large population of Saturn's irregular satellites. They then discovered several dozen candidates orbiting the planet. The orbits of these irregular satellites are more elliptical and inclined relative to Saturn than those of regular satellites.
Saturn is now the leader of the Solar System with 146 moons: all of the discovered moons have diameters ranging from 2-5 kilometers. The moons of both families are believed to have formed from collisions between satellites at some point in the.
The scientists found evidence for a small number prograde irregular satellites orbiting, which suggests that these objects have interacted with other planets or been perturbed by passing stars over time.
Overall, this research provides more evidence for the diversity of Saturn’s irregular satellite population and helps us better understand how it was formed. It is hoped that further study will help shed light on the formation and evolution of Saturn's moons as well as its surrounding solar system.
The findings were published in the journal Nature and are now being used to further investigate the irregular satellite population around Saturn.