Three New Moons Found Near Neptune and Uranus
This August 1989 image provided by NASA shows the planet Neptune photographed by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, processed to enhance the visibility of small features. The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced Friday , Feb. 23, 2024, that astronomers have found three previously unknown moons in our solar system — two additional moons circling Neptune and one around Uranus. (NASA via AP)

Three New Moons Found Near Neptune and Uranus

February 23rd, 2024

Three new moons have been found in space. Two are near the planet Neptune and one is near Uranus. Scientists saw the moons with big telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. Neptune now has 16 moons. Uranus has 28 moons. One of Neptune's new moons takes 27 years to go around the planet. It is very far from the sun. The new moon near Uranus is very small. It is only 5 miles wide. The scientist named Scott Sheppard said there might be more small moons that we have not found yet.
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💭 Discussion Questions

. How many new moons have been found in space?
. Where did scientists see the new moons?
. How long does it take for one of Neptune's new moons to go around the planet?

📖 Vocabulary

🌐 Cultural context

The article is about astronomy, a science that studies objects in space. The planets Neptune and Uranus belong to our Solar System. Big telescopes are used to discover new moons.

🧠 Further reading

Observational astronomy
We look at the stars and space with tools like telescopes. We learn about stars and planets by watching them. Different tools help us see different kinds of light. Some tools see the kind of light that our radios use. Other tools see heat light which is invisible to our eyes. We use special telescopes in space to see better. A long time ago, a man named Galileo used a telescope to look at the stars for the first time. We have been learning more about space ever since then.

List of natural satellites
In our Solar System, there are planets and smaller planets called dwarf planets. Many of them have moons. Moons are like very small planets that go around the bigger ones. Some moons are very big and round. They could be dwarf planets if they were not going around other planets. Moons move around their planets in two ways. "Regular" moons move the same way their planet turns. "Irregular" moons move differently, and some of them were not always part of the Solar System. A long time ago, a man named Galileo found four moons around Jupiter. For many years, only a few moons were known. But when people sent spaceships to look around in the 1970s, they found more moons. And now, by looking through big telescopes, people have found even more moons. The very small planet closest to the sun, Mercury, does not have any moons that we can see. Venus, which is next to Mercury, also does not have moons. Our Earth has one big moon, and it is the biggest moon for a planet like ours.

Scott S. Sheppard
Scott Sheppard is a man who looks at stars and planets. He works in Washington, DC. He went to school and learned a lot about space. He found many small moons and some planets very far away. He also found a special rock in space named after him. It is called 17898 Scottsheppard. Scott found the farthest object that goes around the Sun. It is called 2012 VP113, but some people call it Biden. He thinks there might be a big hidden planet very far away. This planet makes other space rocks move in a special way. Scott and his friends are still looking for more clues about this big planet.