It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
“You don’t see any trace of scarps or ridges or depressions of any kind,” Schenk says, meaning there are no obvious landforms associated with the smears – or at least nothing that’s big enough to see at Cassini’s current resolution. Some of the nearby craters have odd, dark material inside them, but it’s not clear what that material is, how it got there, or if it’s associated with the streaks at all.
Perhaps the best clue about where the streaks are coming from can be found by plotting their locations on the moon. When Schenk mapped the lines onto the moon’s surface, he saw a pattern suggesting the moon is being squeezed or deformed by some kind of global stress – such as irregular rotation, a shifting orbit, or the migration of its poles. But simulations of those processes don’t produce landforms that quite line up with where the streaks are.
One thing is clear, though: The streaks are relatively young. Normally, dust from Saturn’s E ring and charged particles from space would erase the smudges. But they’re still there. And, they’re drawn on top of the Odysseus basin, meaning that the crater came first. Scientists aren’t sure precisely how old Odysseus is, but Schenk suggests it couldn’t have been made more than 2 billion years ago.