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'Flying Saucers' Around Saturn Explained

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posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 06:53 AM
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The formation of strange flying-saucer-shaped moons embedded in Saturn's rings have baffled scientists. New findings suggest they're born largely from clumps of icy particles in the rings themselves, an insight that could shed light on how Earth and other planets coalesced from the disk of matter that once surrounded our newborn sun.

Saturn's rings orbit the planet in a flat disk that corresponds to the planet's equator. Likewise, Earth and the other planets orbit the sun in a fairly flat plane that relates to the sun's equator. The planets, at least the rocky ones, are thought to have formed when bits of material orbiting the newborn sun stuck together, forming larger and larger objects that collided and coalesced.

Observations by NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed the Saturnian moons Atlas and Pan, each roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) from pole to pole, have massive ridges bulging from their equators some 3.7 to 6.5 miles (6 to 10.5 kilometers) high, giving them the flying-saucer appearance.

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In this rendering, the moon Atlas is seen edge-on, embedded in Saturn's rings




posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:01 AM
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Good find. Once more science triumphs over the fantastical. So many times, the first look at something is taken in the wrong way, and only later does the truth emerge.

This is a prime example.

But I expect that the scientific mystery will only deepen now. How is it that these huge rocks have avoided being ground down into the same particle size as the rest of the rings? Or are they growing by "collecting" the smaller particles and will someday "clean up" the rings and become regular moons?

A flag and a star for a timely post when so much is being talked up on other threads about these being "Giant UFOs" circling the planet.



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:05 AM
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makes sense to me.
thanks for posting & link.


now, a few years of tracking the moon(s) should give scientists enough data to project just how long it should be until these moons accrete enough mass to spiral into the planet itself as gravity causes the orbits to decay.............. or will their added mass make their angular momentum
carry them further out from the debris field of the 'rings' ?
to eventually become asteroids?



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by Enceladus
 

Well done, Enceladus!


An example of Atlas purposely mistaken for a flying saucer can be found here,
www.ovni007.com...
at about the middle of the page.




posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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Interesting, that might well apply to the large central ridge on...ahem,
Enceladus.

(Hate to be impolite, but I suppose we'll have to ask)

So....Enceladus, did you get that through accretion, or are you just happy to see us?


Thanks for the link.
Carolyn Porco! I've had a crush on her since Voyager encountered Io.



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by SpaceMax
Interesting, that might well apply to the large central ridge on...ahem,
Enceladus.

(Hate to be impolite, but I suppose we'll have to ask)

So....Enceladus, did you get that through accretion, or are you just happy to see us?


Thanks for the link.
Carolyn Porco! I've had a crush on her since Voyager encountered Io.


Who says science doesn't have a humorous side now and then?

And a probing question, to say the least.



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 12:38 PM
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Funnier still since I was thinking of Iapetus, not Enceladus.
Sorry Enceladus, your equatorial region is just fine.
In fact, it's a quite handsome equatorial region.....



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by St Udio
or will their added mass make their angular momentum
carry them further out from the debris field of the 'rings' ?
to eventually become asteroids?

I don't think so, because what matters more in orbital mechanics (at least if you ignore the effects on the parent body) is angular momentum per unit of mass, and not necessarily angular momentum itself. Canonical example: consider an astronaut on a spacewalk carrying a wrench. He then accidentally lets go of it. What happens? Nothing; the wrench stays in the same orbit as the astronaut.



posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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I wonder if the saucer shape is, or would later, cause this moonlet to tumble? Or is there something stabilizing in such a shape?

A strange little critter indeed.



posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 12:47 PM
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Hmmm?....is it possible that the more mass this object accumulates, it could someday be thrown free of Saturn's rings?...maybe tearing through the rings, thus adding to Earth's probability of being hit by a meteor?
And destroying Saturn's rings in the process?



[edit on 8-12-2007 by Vandermast]



posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 07:12 PM
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Unbelievable how relaxing the Space Exploration forum is compared to many of the others. It's good when we can just consider something that doesn't exact a lot of emotion, that's more about pure interest. Great post, Enceladus!



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:26 AM
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Well I thought as much!!!! Good post!

Perhaps this will put an end to there's flying saucers around Saturn nonesense.

The pictures of "cylinders" and mother ships claims of MikeSingh were always dubious to me! Quite apart from the fact that objects two or three times the size of Earth would be visible in a small telescope (Titan is smaller than Earth I have seen it cleary with a 4.5 inch reflector!)- such objects would have a gravitational interaction with the rings and shepherd moons causing immense disruption to the ring system. I have been following Saturn very carefully and not seen anything unusual in the ring system at all!!!



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 08:31 AM
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I think gravitational accretion and gravity in general plays an insignificant role in the formation of equatorial ridges and Saturns ring system in general next to electrical effects. Of course this is not accepted in the mainstream view but the evidence is far reaching and more convincing IMO.
Just like the Sun and the Earth for that matter, Saturn stores electrical energy in a torus shaped plasmoid around the equator, actually there are two, one outside the rings and one inside.
Here's an experiment replicating Saturns "electric" rings.


Source


source

There is also evidence to suggest that concretions on Earth are formed by electrical processes. Plasma discharges can create spherical objects, I believe this is how planets and moons are formed.
The similarities in the above are more than a coincidence I think.

All the planets and moons are part of the solar circuitry, embedded in a larger galactic circuit and so on...

"It is the Thunderbolt that steers the universe." Heraclitus, ca. 500BC



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