Sarah Dodson-Robinson, a professor of Physics and Astronomy, can discuss this week’s discovery of a dozen moons orbiting Jupiter.

The moons, found during a search for the mysterious Planet X, brings the total number orbiting the solar system’s largest planet to 79. 

Dodson-Robinson says these moons have experienced a lot of violence, and that the orbits are by no means neat and tidy – catastrophic collisions are common.

She can also discuss how the retrograde group consists of fragments of about three larger bodies, and she says Valetudo (the prograde moon whose orbit crosses the retrograde group) is also a leftover from multiple giant collisions. 

The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington.

Dodson-Robinson researches giant planet formation, physics and chemistry of planet birth environments and planet-hosting stars.