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Question on Saturn's new "Moon"

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posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 11:59 PM
Is this Niburu? Are there aliens in it? Kidding, of course. Those threads annoy me as well.


The new moon, found in the G ring.... is 1/3 of a mile wide. Thats tiny, and... on an astronomical scale, microscopic. Now, I do understand this isn't the first 'moonlet' to be found (what a goofy name). But what are the criteria to call a satellite a satellite? Surely, there is debris in the rings of saturn larger than this moon, no? And if not, why isnt it just a big piece of debris, the biggest? The only thing I can think of to call it a moon is that:

1. It has an atmosphere. (okay, this one kinda just hit me, is this it?)
2. its round
3. it rotates on an axis (but does debris rotate? I dont know...)

Anyway, just a few questions, im really curious.

Thanks ATS

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 12:26 AM
reply to post by Schmidt1989

The definition of what constitutes as being a Moon is very muddy. More so than our recently updated definition of what constitutes as being a Planet.

Saturn's rings contain myriad chunks of ice and rocks that scientists don't consider moons. Yet embedded in the rings are distinct moons. Size -- and the ability to be noticed -- has so far played a role in being designated a moon.

Yet some moon-like objects are so small they are invisible. Hydrogen atoms at the outer fringes of Earth's atmosphere orbit the planet in an arguably moon-like manner.

"We don't call those satellites," says Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), making a firm delineation between moon and non-moon at least at the very lower end of the size spectrum. Dust grains, too, are out, Stern says. From there on up, however, nobody has thought much about where to draw the line, if at all, on what constitutes a moon.

"There is no accepted definition," Stern said.


This is an old article. Perhaps things have been updated since.


posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 12:18 AM
reply to post by InfaRedMan

Thanks a bunch, bud!

I guess it really doesn't matter about size, as long as it has an orbit... but then why don't all the debris in Saturn's rings get classified, they all robit Saturn in a path. Right?

posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 12:42 AM
Becaseu all of the smaller objects in staurns rings, are like size of large boulders, to particles in cigarrete smoke..a moon, is a body that clealryy is in rotation around the planet by itself. Watching Voayger spacecraft documentarys( i LOVE astronomy, been into for the past 24 yearrs), they disccovered smaller objects, asteroid sized objects in the rings of saturn, in 1980/1981. Those were refferred to as shepherding satellites. A shpeherding satellite, is clearly a smaller onject but big enought o be detected, that prbits in a ring plane. The theory is, shepherding satellites keep the material in the rings form spreading out into space. That is how planets rings stay uniform and round. OF course, if yuo look at Uranus and Neptune, in 1986 and 1989 encounters with voyager 2 spacecarft, sheperding sattelites were found well away from their rings. Theory of course, was captured asteroids or rocks, or leftover debris form tehir formation, or collisions in their history.

posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 12:52 AM

Originally posted by Schmidt1989
reply to post by InfaRedMan

I guess it really doesn't matter about size

Men have comforted themselves by thinking that for eons!

but then why don't all the debris in Saturn's rings get classified, they all orbit Saturn in a path. Right?

Could you imagine trying to name and track all those buggers... !!! I knew trainspotters would come in handy for something eventually! Let's shoot them out into space!


[edit on 6/3/09 by InfaRedMan]

posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 12:55 AM
reply to post by ziggy1706


I'm sure there's some good info in your statement but I must admit I had a hard time getting past your typos!

Slow down my man! Use a few paragraphs too!


posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 09:28 AM
"Pan" is a moon that seems to be an aggregation of a ring.

Pan resides in a gap between rings.. to be more like a 3D "eddy" that has jsut done it's rounds enough to collect all the debris from it's ring's path in order to group together and form it'self.

imma gonna have to research the new moon. atmosphere ey? sounds cool..


posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 10:27 AM
This is all great, useful information that i'm getting. Thank you all so much! I got a new question on my mind, have to make a new thread.

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