The Ringmakers And Other Bizzare Anomalies Near Saturn

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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 5:57 pm » by Drextin


Wow! Unless that thing is made of ice and the sunlight hit it just right I have no idea. I wouldn't think it was an exposure problem.

Damn good work marduk
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 6:32 pm » by -Marduk-


Saturn Surrounded By Mysterious Electric ‘Doughnut’



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Homer Simpson, meet your match in space: Astronomers have confirmed the existence of a lopsided "doughnut" of electrified plasma surrounding Saturn.
The giant ring current, as the doughnut is called, was confirmed following analysis of recent Cassini spacecraft data. But the new information adds a twist to the electric phenomenon, which extends more than 746,000 miles into space: It rotates.

Don Mitchell, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of a new study detailed in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, revealed his team's initial findings at a conference earlier this year, but said the new study now confirms them. He explained that most of Saturn's ring-current plasma comes from its ice-spewing moon Enceladus.
"Earth's ring current is made of upper atmosphere and solar wind particles, so it's mostly hydrogen," Mitchell said. "But Saturn's source is by and large Enceladus, which shoots out a whole lot of oxygen in the form of water."


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"Earth's ring current is made of upper atmosphere and solar wind particles, so it's mostly hydrogen," Mitchell said. "But Saturn's source is by and large Enceladus, which shoots out a whole lot of oxygen in the form of water." Mitchell explained that sunlight zaps the water and turns it into charged particles called ions, which Saturn's magnetic field captures and turns into a tube of energized plasma. The pressure of the solar wind, however, smears the night-side half of the ring into a sheet of plasma that continuously drifts into space.

Unlike Earth's relatively stationary ring current, however, Saturn's rotates with the planet, Mitchell said.

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"Earth rotates pretty slow compared to the speed of the ring-current particles, so the thing is stationary," he said. But Saturn rotates more than twice as fast as Earth, dragging Saturn's heavy oxygen ions around the planet in a counter-clockwise direction. Although the Cassini data resolves the mystery of Saturn's ring — which the existence of, Mitchell said, was only speculative 25 years ago — it has uncovered a new one. "There's a point during the rotation where we see an energy spike, so there's something special about a particular spot on Saturn," he said. "For now, though, we don't know what it could be."





Saturn eclipses the Sun, as seen from Cassini.
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Last edited by -Marduk- on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 6:49 pm » by Drextin


where do you get this wonderful information man?
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 6:53 pm » by Hesop


This is an awsome post Marduk. No doubt is has spurred the imagination of wondering minds everywhere, and once again, a topic of intrigue makes it's way into mass media to draw attention to our neighborhood again.

http://s137.photobucket.com/albums/q230 ... nrings.flv

You've got a lot of info here. Will take some time to digest. Thanks. I enjoy the shit out of this.
Last edited by Hesop on Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 6:54 pm » by Drextin


Nice sig! Spock out did himself on that one.
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 7:00 pm » by Hesop


drextin wrote:Nice sig! Spock out did himself on that one.

He made me proud!

Which is better for vids from Photobucket, direct link, or img code?
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 7:03 pm » by Drextin


hesop wrote:
drextin wrote:Nice sig! Spock out did himself on that one.

He made me proud!

Which is better for vids from Photobucket, direct link, or img code?

I'm not sure hesop. Never tried to post vids from anywhere but youtube.

Not even sure you can embed any vids that are not from youtube,dtv and google. slush are some of the other people who post a lot of them would know more than me.
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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 7:06 pm » by -Marduk-


Mysterious Twist Found In Saturn's Electric Ring



An invisible donut of trapped, hot particles surrounding Saturn is all bent out of shape--a finding that astronomers can't yet explain. A similar "ring current" phenomenon occurs around Earth as a relatively stable donut when present,

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but new Cassini spacecraft images show Saturn's loop is a lopsided mess.

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"It's curious that Saturn's ring current isn't symmetric," said Don Mitchell, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University who helped examine the images beamed back to Earth. "We think the solar wind is squishing the sunward side of the ring current, kind of like a wind sock." Planets with magnetic fields can trap hot particles within their clutches to form giant electrified clouds—the ring currents—that are invisible to the naked eye.

Earth's ring current is made of hydrogen and appears during solar flares. Saturn's is made largely of oxygen and is always present. The saturnian moon Enceladus is responsible for the electric halo, as it consistently spews water vapor from its depths to feed the ring current with oxygen and hydrogen ions.

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Because oxygen is far heavier than hydrogen, Mitchell said, Saturn's ring current can distort the planet's magnetic field and make for an odd shape. "The heavier oxygen is like a rock on a string, stretching the magnetic field of Saturn," Mitchell said. More mysterious to Mitchell and his colleagues, however, is a "clump" of electrified particles within the ring that rotates in sync with the planet roughly every 10 hours and 47 minutes.

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Cassini's images show the bright clump orbits Saturn between 300,000 and 634,000 miles (485,000 and 1,000,000 kilometers) away from the planet's surface, but astronomers have not yet figured out what creates it nor why it moves so quickly.

"Saturn is a big fast rotator. The clump seems loosely hooked to the planet, yet rotates with it," Mitchell said. "It may be connected with Saturn's ring current, but we just don't know. This is something we're working very hard to figure out." Stamatios Krimigis, also an astrophsycist at Johns Hopkins who examined the images, is presenting them Thursday at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany.


A rough comparison of the sizes of Saturn and Earth.

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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 7:12 pm » by Mushroom


Awesome info... Keep it coming Marduk PLEAASSE :flop:

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PostThu Jun 04, 2009 7:28 pm » by -Marduk-


Arthur C. Clarke
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talks about Saturn and the Cassini mission


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