Mysterious Objects Tear Through Saturn's 'Weird' F Ring

  • Uploaded by 8seconds on Sep 20, 2013
  • Views: 215

Mysterious objects have been wreaking havoc on what scientists refer to as Saturn's "weirdest ring." NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured images of Saturn that show strange half-mile-sized objects punching through parts of Saturn's F ring, leaving a glittering trail in its path. Carl Murray, a Cassini imaging team member, says this is significant because the F ring is more dynamic than they imagined. Scientists already know the profound effect Saturn's moon, Prometheus, has on the F ring, creating channels, ripples, and snowballs... but now objects, around half a mile wide to the size of a small moon, are breaking away, colliding with the F ring, at gentle speeds, dragging glittering ice particles out of the F ring with them. Scientists are now calling these trails "mini jets." The Cassini imaging team had to comb through 20,000 images of the F ring, taken over the past 7 years Cassini has been at Saturn, and found 500 examples of these "mini jets." The F ring, which is the outermost of Saturn's main rings, is known as Saturn's 'weirdest ring' because it is ever changing, constantly leaving new images for the Cassini team to analyze.

Show Description Hide Description