When NASA released new images of Saturn in September, I thought the planet looked a little like a Keith. Maybe a David. No astronaut asked me for my opinion, though, and I wasn't offended, because I didn't really peg NASA as the kind of company that asks me -- or Twitter accounts like @astrologybabe3333 -- what to name the planets they've dedicated their lives to discovering and understanding.
But NASA has held competitions to name less significant discoveries, like newly discovered moons orbiting Jupiter, in the past... And now the space agency said it has discovered 20 more moons orbiting Saturn. That means the competition is back on. (Side note: I hope they also bring back the pumpkin-carving competition.)
Researchers observed these new moons with the Subaru telescope atop volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The recent discovery makes Saturn the planet with the most moons (82), the Carnegie Institution for Science announced on Monday. Sorry Second Place Jupiter, you just got stupider.
All of these moons are around three miles in diameter, and one is now the farthest known moon from Saturn. This moon's significantly wider orbit leads scientists to believe that something is pulling the little guy outward or that it wasn't created in the same way as the other moons. I personally think that one should be named after me, because I was this level of isolated in high school, and I was an accident.
The instructions for competing are written on Carnegie Science's website, under "how to submit."
"Tweet your suggested moon name to @SaturnLunacy and tell us why you picked it," they write. "Photos, artwork, and videos are strongly encouraged. Don't forget to include the hashtag #NameSaturnsMoons."
Scott Sheppard, a Carnegie astronomer who led the discovery team, said the incredible public engagement during the Jupiter moon naming was what inspired the new competition, but that there are different requirements this time around:
"This time," he said in a statement, "The moons must be named after giants from Norse, Gallic, or Inuit mythology."
Some Mensa members did not pay attention to this requirement, despite being a group literally dedicated to organizing people with incredibly high IQs.