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NASA Reports Discovery of New Neptune Moon

© NASA . ESA, M. Showalter/SETI InstituteThe Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a tiny moon orbiting Neptune
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a tiny moon orbiting Neptune - Sputnik International
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The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a tiny moon orbiting Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the distant planet, NASA said on its website.

MOSCOW, July 16 (RIA Novosti) – The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a tiny moon orbiting Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the distant planet, NASA said on its website.

“The moon, designated S/2004 N 1, is estimated to be no more than 12 miles [19.3 km] across, making it the smallest known moon in the Neptunian system,” NASA said in a statement posted Monday.

According to NASA, Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in California found the moon on July 1 while studying about 150 pictures of the faint arcs around Neptune captured by the Hubble in 2004-2009, NASA said.

It appeared as a white dot about 65,400 miles [105,251 km] from the planet, located between the orbits of the moons Larissa and Proteus.

Showalter has plotted a circular orbit for the new moon, which rotates around Neptune every 23 hours, according to his calculations.

Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System, which was discovered in 1846. It is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass.

The faraway planet has been visited by Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by the planet on August 25, 1989.

 

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