Never-Before-Seen Shapes Of Saturn’s Rings, Revealed In Jaw-Dropping Final Photos From Cassini

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Cassini managed to plunge where no other spacecraft has ever plunged before – this was in the space between Saturn and the rings of the planet.

It dove there for about 22 orbits and it the data that it managed to collect during the dives, astronomers have just found some new breathtaking info about the way in which the tiny moons sculpt and carve the rings.

According to experts, there’s not only brand new evidence that the rings of Saturn are much younger than the planet itself, but these are also a window into he way in which the planets form in the giant rings of dust and debris that circle newborn stars.

According to Science Alert, the new info that’s been collected shows the rings in more detail than ever.

“It’s like turning the power up one more notch on what we could see in the rings. Everyone just got a clearer view of what’s going on,” said Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker of JPL-NASA.

She continued and explained that “Getting that extra resolution answered many questions, but so many tantalizing ones remain.”

These unveil the delicate texture and clumps that are in the rings and the patterns produced by the movement of the shepherd moons such as Daphnis.

New maps have been compiled

Experts have been also able to compile new maps of the colors, temperatures, and chemistry from within the rings.

On the other hand, Cassini scientists have been able to spot something that they are not able to understand just yet.

Science Laert notes that these are: “three distinct textures – smooth, clumpy, and streaky. These features occur in the rings in distinct belts, with sharp, well-defined edges.”

“This tells us the way the rings look is not just a function of how much material there is,” said astronomer Matt Tiscareno of the SETI Institute.

He continued and said, “There has to be something different about the characteristics of the particles, perhaps affecting what happens when two ring particles collide and bounce off each other.” He concluded by saying that they don’t know what this is.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The entire research has been published in Science.


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1 Comment

  1. IF now we know that it is inhabitable….what’s the point of sucking our resources there…That is now explorations works…I understand science and all, but ultimately it should be about finding really habitable new planet and means of getting there.

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