Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, July 28, 1999 Published at 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK


Sci/Tech

Two more moons for Uranus

Uranus seen from Voyager 2 in 1986

By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

Astronomers have discovered two more tiny moons orbiting the distant planet Uranus. It means that Uranus overtakes Saturn as the planet with the largest number of moons.


[ image: One of the new moons]
One of the new moons
The new worlds were discovered by a team of astronomers led by Dr J.J. Kavelaars of McMaster University in Canada. The new satellites' orbits are highly elliptical and inclined to the planet's equator.

The two new satellites bring the total around Uranus to 20. They have been given the provisional names of 1999 U1 and 1999 U2. Eventually they will be named after Shakespearean characters.

They have diameters less than 20 kilometres and are made of dark rock. The discovery was announced in an International Astronomical Union circular.

Two years ago, Dr Kavelaars and three other scientists found two other satellites around Uranus, the 16th and 17th which are now named Caliban and Sycorax.

Three months ago, Dr Erich Karkoschka of the University of Arizona found an 18th satellite on a 1986 Voyager 2 photograph.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Sci/Tech Contents


Relevant Stories

28 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
New moon discovered around Uranus

31 Mar 99 | Sci/Tech
Changing seasons on Uranus

15 Oct 98 | Sci/Tech
Uranus as it has never been seen before





Internet Links


NASA: Uranus

Uranian satellites fact sheet


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer