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International scientists have announced the discovery of a tiny moon orbiting Saturn. The speck of light, captured by cameras on board the Cassini spacecraft, was first observed on August 15.
A review found the moonlet on two earlier images and it has since been seen on multiple occasions. The finding appeared in Tuesday's edition of the International Astronomical Union circular.
The moon is about one-third of a mile (a half-kilometer) across and circles Saturn as a part of the planet's sixth, or G, ring. "Before Cassini, the G ring was the only dusty ring that was not clearly associated with a known moon, which made it odd," said Matthew Hedman, a Cassini imaging team associate at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. "
The discovery of this moonlet, together with other Cassini data, should help us make sense of this previously mysterious ring."
Originally posted by TV_Nation
Hopefully Cassini can continue to bring us new discoveries before it's time is up.
Early next year, Cassini's camera will take a closer look at the moonlet. The Cassini Equinox mission, an extension of the original four-year mission, is expected to continue until fall 2010. If the craft continues to function properly, the mission could be extended up to two more years.
Originally posted by tothetenthpower
Haha, tiny moon or...