Four, and possibly as many as six, new satellites of Saturn have been found as a result of data from the Voyager 2 encounter with the planet in August 1981. The discoveries bring the number of Saturnian satellites to between 21 and 23. The two ‘possible’ satellites were seen in only one observation each, so their orbits are not yet confirmed.
The innermost satellite, found by Stephen P. Synnott of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., moves at about the same orbital distance from Saturn as the already known satellite, Mimas. The object was originally suggested by data from charged-particle instruments aboard Voyager 2. Synpott and colleague Richard Terrile found the satellite.