Three new moons discovered in the Solar System

The France-based International Astronomical Union has confirmed the existence of three new moons in the solar system, one of Uranus and two of Neptune. Now the moon count of Uranus stands at 28. Neptune now has 16 known moons.


Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science spotted the faint Uranus moon (S/2023 U1) using the Magellan Telescope in Chile. One of Neptune’s new moons (S/2002 N5) was also spotted using the Magellan Telescope by Scott Sheppard. The other moon of Neptune (S/2021 N1) was discovered using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, by Scott and his colleagues.

S/2023 U1, the new moon of Uranus is only around 8 km (5 miles) across. It takes around 680 days to orbit around Uranus.

Neptune’s new satellites, S/2002 N5 and S/2021 N1, are around 23 km (14.3 miles) and 14 km (8.7 miles) wide respectively. S/2002 N5 takes around 9 years, while S/2021 N1 takes around 27 years to orbit Neptune.

“The three newly discovered moons are the faintest ever found around these two ice giant planets using ground-based telescopes”, said astronomer Scott Sheppard. He also said that “it took special image processing to reveal such faint objects.” The three moons will be officially named very soon.

The new moon of Uranus will be named after a character from a Shakespeare play, like most of the Uranian satellites. Neptune’s new moons will receive names based on the 50 Nereid sea goddesses in Greek mythology.

Uranus is the seventh and Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun. Uranus has the third largest diameter after Jupiter and Saturn. Neptune has the fourth largest diameter. However, Neptune is more massive than Uranus.

(Also read: Uranus and Neptune – planet comparison | Uranus vs Neptune)

Points to Remember

  • Uranus moon count – 28
  • Neptune moon count – 16
  • Uranus largest moon – Titania (~1,600 km diameter)
  • Neptune largest moon – Triton (~2,700 km diameter)
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