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Latest Rings of Saturn Stories

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2008-03-06 14:45:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found evidence of material orbiting Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon. This is the first time rings may have been found around a moon. A broad debris disk and at least one ring appear to have been detected by a suite of six instruments on Cassini specifically designed to study the atmospheres and particles around Saturn and its moons. "Until now, only planets were known to have rings, but now Rhea seems to have some family ties to its...

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2008-02-19 12:17:27

Gaps in the soup of high energy particles near the orbits of two of Saturn's tiny moons indicate that Saturn may be surrounded by undiscovered, near-invisible partial rings. A paper in the February issue of the journal Icarus suggests the larger Saturnian moons may not be the only ones contributing material to Saturn's ring system. A team of scientists has detected two peculiar breaks in the near-constant rain of high energy electrons that bombard Cassini when near Saturn. They made the...

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2008-02-01 07:10:00

Order can be found in the most unexpected places, as demonstrated by our neighbor three planets down. Two of Saturn's rings have been found by NASA's Cassini spacecraft to contain orderly lines of densely grouped, boulder-size icy particles that extend outward across the rings like ripples from a rock dropped in a calm pond. "Imagine going to a town that stretches from San Francisco to Los Angeles and seeing buildings spaced the same distance apart on every block," said Cassini radio science...

fc64643d29b29517b09be10d356e5b711
2007-12-12 21:55:00

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - New observations by NASA's Cassini spacecraft indicate the rings of Saturn, once thought to have formed during the age of the dinosaurs, instead may have been created roughly 4.5 billion years ago, when the solar system was still under construction. Larry Esposito, principal investigator for Cassini's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said data from NASA's Voyager spacecraft in the 1970s, and later from NASA's Hubble Space...

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2007-12-06 16:20:57

Imaging scientists on NASA's Cassini mission are telling a tale of how the small moons orbiting near the outer rings of Saturn came to be. The moons began as leftover shards from larger bodies that broke apart and filled out their "figures" with the debris that made the rings. It has long been suspected that Saturn's rings formed in the disintegration of one or several large icy bodies, perhaps pre-existing moons, by giant impacts. The resulting debris quickly spread and settled into the...

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2007-10-24 15:38:11

A narrow belt harboring moonlets as large as football stadiums discovered in Saturn's outermost ring probably resulted when a larger moon was shattered by a wayward asteroid or comet eons ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study. Images taken by a camera onboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft revealed a series of eight propeller-shaped "wakes" in a thin belt of the outermost "A" ring, indicating the presence of corresponding moonlets, said CU-Boulder Research Associate...

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2007-08-02 18:30:00

PASADENA, Calif. - Cassini scientists may have identified the source of one of Saturn's more mysterious rings. Saturn's G ring likely is produced by relatively large, icy particles that reside within a bright arc on the ring's inner edge. The particles are confined within the arc by gravitational effects from Saturn's moon Mimas. Micrometeoroids collide with the particles, releasing smaller, dust-sized particles that brighten the arc. The plasma in the giant planet's magnetic field sweeps...

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2007-05-22 12:25:00

Saturn's largest and most densely packed ring is composed of tightly packed clumps of particles separated by nearly empty gaps, according to new findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. These clumps in Saturn's B ring are neatly organized and constantly colliding, which surprised scientists. "The rings are different from the picture we had in our minds. We originally thought we would see a uniform cloud of particles. Instead we find that the particles are clumped together with empty spaces...

2007-04-16 16:55:00

In a paper presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Preston from 16 - 20 April, Dr Stuart Eves of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited will challenge the orthodox view that the rings around the planet Uranus were first detected during an occultation experiment in 1977. Remarkably, a paper presented to the Royal Society in December 1797 by the then King's Astronomer, Sir William Herschel, (who had discovered Uranus in 1781), includes a description of a possible ring around the planet. Dr...

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2006-10-12 06:30:24

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spied a new, continuously changing feature that provides circumstantial evidence that a comet or asteroid recently collided with Saturn's innermost ring, the faint D ring. Imaging scientists see a structure in the outer part of the D ring that looks like a series of bright ringlets with a regularly spaced interval of about 30 kilometers (19 miles). An observation made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 also saw a periodic structure in the...


Latest Rings of Saturn Reference Libraries

6_01f3c2cab5cf417ad24ef2a3539cb89c2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planetary Ring -- A planetary ring is a ring of dust and other small particles orbiting around a planet in a flat disc-shaped region. The most spectacular and famous planetary rings are those around Saturn, but all four of the solar system's gas giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) possess ring systems of their own. The origin of planetary rings is not precisely known, but they are thought to be unstable and dissipate over the course of tens or hundreds of millions of...

4_e9d175f90d0b5ef2871efa0f6af24f302
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Prometheus -- Prometheus [pra-MEE-thee-us] is the third of Saturn's known satellites. It was discovered from photographs taken by Voyager during its encounter with Saturn by S. Collins and others. Prometheus acts as a shepherd satellite for the inner edge of Saturn's F Ring. The moon is extremely elongated about 145 by 85 by 62 kilometers (90 by 53 by 39 miles) in diameter. It has a number of ridges and valleys on its northern side. Several craters about 20...

4_868ee3ee75d373f925a938985b316c762
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Pan -- Pan, the innermost known satellite, was found from photographs taken by Voyager during its encounter with Saturn. It was discovered by Mark R. Showalter in 1990, 9 years after the Voyager encounter. Pan is located 133,583 kilometers from the center of Saturn and is within the Encke Gap of Saturn's A-ring. It acts as a shepherd and is responsible for keeping the Encke gap open. It has a diameter of 20 kilometers. ----- Discovered by: Mark R. Showalter;...

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