03 September 2015 News

Cassini discovers potentially ‘younger’ ring portion on Saturn

A new study in Icarus journal by Cassini scientists suggests that one of the rings on the gas giant is not like the others.

A higher-that-expected temperature of a part of one of the rings has suggested to the Cassini team that the middle of Saturn’s A ring is potentially much younger than the rest of the rings. You can read about one potential theory as to why that is here.

In general, Saturn’s rings have fascinated science for years. Although Galileo first observed them in 1610 (he quite confused by them), there is still no consensus as to how they formed.

Cassini will make a final series of close approaches to Saturn soon – which may give us more information on the rings and how they ultimately formed, including potential mass measurements.

Popular articles

Popular articles

As of April 2017, more than 290 break-ups in orbit have been recorded since 1961. Most were explosions of satellites and upper stages – fewer than 10 involved accidental and intentional collisions. Astronautics

Measuring space debris risk

Cassini above Saturn’s north pole during summer, with the hexagon and polar cyclone in view. Space Science

Cassini observations open up Saturn’s atmosphere

An original interpretation of Blade Runner 2049 by artist James Vaughan. Space Lounge

The sci-fi noir world of Blade Runner