A team of scientists in the United States has discovered 12 new moons orbiting around Jupiter while they were searching for the mythical planet Nibiru. Interestingly, one of the dozen new moons discovered is now in a suicidal orbit, that will inevitably lead to its collision with another moon. Scientists revealed that this collision will be too gigantic, and the explosion after the hit may even be visible from the earth.
Remnants of planetary bodies?
Scott Sheppard, who led the research at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC revealed that the team discovered these 12 moons in March 2016 from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile but they were waiting to confirm that these bodies have a locked orbit around Jupiter.
With this new discovery, the total number of moons orbiting Jupiter became 79. All the new moons recently discovered are relatively small in size, and this is considered the most prominent reason why they were spotted before.
Nine out of the 12 moons discovered belong to an outer group that orbit Jupiter in retrograde. These moons travel in the opposite direction of the planet's spin, and experts believe that these space bodies might be the remains of larger planetary bodies that were broken apart after colliding with asteroids and meteors. Two moons discovered are circling in the same direction as Jupiter does.
Gareth Williams, an astronomer at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics revealed that he is not at all surprised by the discovery made by Shepherd and his team.
"The chances of us seeing an impact in any one year is vanishingly small, but it is likely in the life of the solar system. We know there are probably hundreds of moons around Jupiter that are a kilometre or more in diameter at the moment. Knowing how many satellites around each of the planets is important because any formation scenario for the planet has to account for the satellite system. If your model only accounts for 20 satellites, that's not going to fly when you suddenly have 60," said Gareth Williams, Los Angeles Times reports.
Conspiracy theorists join the party
With the new discovery, conspiracy theorists have joined the party and have started arguing that the discovery of these new moons might be related to the arrival of Nibiru. As per these theorists, Nibiru in its collision course might have hit with unknown space bodies, and these moons might be the remnants of the impact.