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Mystery Object Pierces a Ring of Saturn

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posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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news.nationalgeographic.com...

Very interesting!

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Soulshock]




posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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This has been posted about eight times already.
Please don't forget to use the search function before posting.



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 04:23 PM
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This is being discussed in the Space Exploration forum.

As the article you posted says, it is perhaps caused by a yet-undiscovered moonlet, or perhaps (but less likely) an asteroid or comet.

Saturn is approaching an equinox (occurring every 15 years), and its ring plane is more in line with the Sun. Therefore shadows cast by bumps and other perturbations in the ring system are much more noticeable because the shadows are much longer -- and Cassini is there this time to see those long shadows.

The moonlet, asteroid, or comet mentioned in the article you posted coul be causing fluctuations in the orbits of ring materials, just like Saturn's moon Daphnis caused a "ripple" effect in the rings that was visible a few months ago (also made visible because of the equinox/long shadows)

Link to Daphnis and "rippled" ring:
astronomynow.com...


[edit on 8/14/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



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