Moons...Moons Everywhere!

Do you have trouble keeping track of the number of moons escorting each of the planets? It's not just a matter of plain old forgetfulness! New ones are popping up every year. The latest deep surveys of the area around Uranus have turned up what appears to be the planet's 21st satellite, just weeks after the discoveries of candidates 19 and 20. On July 18th, observers identified a pair of objects with red-light magnitudes of 23 and 24 in images from the 3.5-meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii. Another candidate, 23rd-magnitude S/1999 U3, was spotted in the CFHT images from July 18th. That probably ranks Uranus as the "Realm of Moons".

Published in the November 1999 issue of the NightTimes