Why are Jupiter’s moons multiplying?

Sophia Maynard, Writer

Scientists from NASA have identified 12 additional moons orbiting Jupiter, putting the already massive number to 92.

According to astronomer Scott Sheppard’s research team, the number is going to continue to increase.

Why is it important to keep track of the moons? When we send a spacecraft to Jupiter, we need to know the amount of space debris/moons that are near this gas giant to avoid any collisions. 

What classifies something as moon instead of space debris or an asteroid? According to Webster’s dictionary “A moon is a large round object that circles planets and that shines at night by reflecting light from the sun.”

How did there come to be so many moons surrounding Jupiter? The current theory is that there were a few “parent” moons that got broken down due to collisions with objects in space, therefore creating creating many moons.