View Full Version : New ring detected around Saturn

tlr online
07-10-09, 10:02
Very interesting indeed.

A colossal new ring has been identified around Saturn. The dusty hoop extends some 13 million km (eight million miles) from the planet, about 50 times further out into space than its more familiar rings.

Scientists tell the journal Nature that the tenuous ring is probably made up of debris kicked off Saturn's moon Phoebe by small impacts. They think this dust then migrates towards the planet where it is picked up by another Saturnian moon, Iapetus.

The discovery would appear to resolve a longstanding mystery in planetary science: why the walnut-shaped Iapetus has a two-tone complexion, with one side of the moon significantly darker than the other.

"It has essentially a head-on collision. The particles smack Iapetus like bugs on a windshield," said Anne Verbiscer from the University of Virginia, US.

Observations of the material coating the dark face of Iapetus indicate it has a similar composition to the surface material on Phoebe.

The scale of the new ring feature is astonishing. Nothing like it has been seen elsewhere in the Solar System. The more easily visible outlier in Saturn's famous bands of ice and dust is its E-ring, which encompasses the orbit of the moon Enceladus. This circles the planet at a distance of just 240,000km.



07-10-09, 10:04
Pretty cool, eh, Justin?

And finally the mystery of Iapetus is solved, too! :D

Jack Croft
07-10-09, 10:05
Very interesting just read this now.

Its moon Phoebe is like battered so much from comets etc. :D

07-10-09, 10:06
Very cool indeed! :cool: Always interesting to discover and unlock the many mysteries the universe holds. :)

07-10-09, 10:20
Wow! This sort of thing is great. :D

07-10-09, 10:30
Sateurn's expanding it radius...damn megalomaniac :vlol:

07-10-09, 10:51
This is really cool news :tmb:

I keep thinking of the movie Titan AE & how the new Earth (Bob :vlol:) was formed :D

Ward Dragon
07-10-09, 21:27
It's so pretty :D It's always interesting to hear about discoveries like this :D

07-10-09, 21:34
interesting...how come it couldn't be detected earlier?

Very cool indeed! :cool: Always interesting to discover and unlock the many mysteries the universe holds. :)

yup...and I think we're still just scratching on the surface!!right?:p:D

07-10-09, 21:35
I saw this in the Independent today - really interesting to see what mysteries about space become unravelled. :tmb:

Sir Croft
07-10-09, 22:48
I love such discoveries! Space is so mysterious, what else could be out there?

07-10-09, 22:55
Saturn is such a show off, trying to get all the attention :rolleyes:!! Now Uranus deserve all the attention. Pluto was more popular than Uranus!

Romantics Inc.
07-10-09, 22:57
Sexy!! :jmp:

But I def. agree that uranus*cough* should get allll the attention...

07-10-09, 22:59
Sort of cool! :D

07-10-09, 23:18
That's really interesting. Although I admit, I don't know what Saturn's rings are or what this means :o. I'll have to read upon my astronomy.

08-10-09, 01:12
Thats cool! man saturn just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Soon its gonna be all up in everyones space bubble.