And that raises a question: Does an object less than a mile across deserve to be called a moon?

If you can find it, photograph it, compute an orbit? why not?


kleinbl00:

    If you can find it, photograph it, compute an orbit? why not?

'cuz a gas giant bordering an asteroid belt is likely to attract flotsam like an angora sweater attracts cat hair? "Moon" is pretty loosely defined: basically anything that orbits and isn't artificial in origin. Saturn, therefore, only has as few moons as it has because we haven't started counting ring particles. At some point we're gonna have to define the lower bound or the term becomes meaningless.

This bit is pretty bitchin':

    DECam is a high-performance, wide-field CCD imager mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-m telescope at CTIO. DECam imager contains 62 science CCDs with 520 megapixels and images 3 square degrees (2.2 degree wide field) at 0.263 arcsecond/pixel resolution.


posted by francopoli: 96 days ago