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Moonopolies

The solar system's outer planets host a multitude of irregular satellites

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1:25pm, November 18, 2003

Not long ago, the solar system seemed to be a simple, orderly place. Anyone taking a trip to the local planetarium would have heard that the planets have 60 or so moons orbiting them on neat, nearly circular paths. That picture has now become a lot messier. Over the past 6 years, astronomers have discovered a passel of new moons around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, more than doubling the known number.

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