Text Version
RSS Feeds
Newsletter
Home Forum Photos Features Newsletter Archive Employment
About US Help Site Map
SEARCH   About US FAQ Site Map Site News
  SERVICES
  -Text Version
  -RSS Feeds
  -Newsletter
  -News Archive
  -Give us feedback
  -Voices of Readers
  -Online community
  -China Biz info
  What's new
 -
 -
Report: NASA's Cassini spacecraft spots a new moonlet in Saturn's rings
+ -
10:34, March 04, 2009

Click the "PLAY" button and listen. Do you like the online audio service here?
Good, I like it
Just so so
I don't like it
No interest
 Comment  Tell A Friend
 Print Format  Save Article
Scientists have found a new moon hidden in one of Saturn's dazzling outer rings, the Scientific American website reported Tuesday.

Saturn's G ring, a faint band of material near the outer bounds of the planet's famed ring system, hosts a bright arc about 90,000 miles (150,000 kilometers) long. The arc, or partial ring, which stretches through about a sixth of the G ring's length, is believed to provide the rest of the ring with dust and ice, but its evolution has remained a mystery.

Recent images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft point to a moonlet embedded in the G ring. The moonlet, the Cassini team speculates, might help to repopulate the arc, and then the ring as a whole, with material as it suffers collisions with meteoroids or other small bodies within the ring.

The moonlet, which showed up as a bright speck in the ring's arc, appears to be approximately 0.3 mile (0.5 kilometer) in diameter, based on its reflectance. The finding was reported Tuesday in a circular from the International Astronomical Union.

"Before Cassini, the G ring was the only dusty ring that was not clearly associated with a known moon, which made it odd," Matthew Hedman, an astronomy research associate at Cornell University and a member of the Cassini imaging team, said in a statement.

Data from the same mission in 2007 indicated that the ring-feeding arc could stem from an orbital relationship with Mimas, one of Saturn's proper moons, but the arc's composition remained a puzzle. "The discovery of this moonlet, together with other Cassini data," Hedman said, "should help us make sense of this previously mysterious ring."

Source:Xinhua



  Your Message:   Most Commented:
British boy becomes father at 13 
Full Text of Human Rights Record of United States in 2008
Looted Chinese relics sold for 14 million euros each
China hits back with report on U.S. human rights record
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Beijing for China visit

|About Peopledaily.com.cn | Advertise on site | Contact us | Site map | Job offer|
Copyright by People's Daily Online, All Rights Reserved

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90781/90876/6605832.pdf