Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SATURN DAILY
To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united
by Staff Writers
Ithaca NY (SPX) Oct 25, 2017


A team of Saturn moon keeps Saturn's A ring from spreading. This image from NASA's Cassini mission clearly show the ring's density waves created by the small moons. The waves look like the grooves in a vinyl record.

For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring - the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, Cornell astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled.

Without forces to hold the A ring in check, the ring would keep spreading out and ultimately disappear. "Cassini provided detail on the mass of Saturn's moons and the physical characteristics of the rings, so mathematically speaking, we concluded that the moon Janus alone cannot keep the rings from spreading out," said Radwan Tajeddine, a research associate in astronomy and lead author of the new research.

The scientists discovered that confinement of the A ring is shared among the moons Pan, Atlas, Prometheus, Pandora, Epimetheus, Mimas and Janus. "All of these moons work as a group to contain the ring. Together they are strong. United they stand," said Tajeddine.

Cassini, which crashed into Saturn Sept. 15 at the mission's end, provided valuable data and detailed images of the planet's rings. The A ring looks similar to a vinyl record; it has "density waves" that resemble a record's grooves that are created by what astronomers call moon resonances. These resonance markers enabled scientists to deduce that the moons' gravitational influence help to slow and reduce the spreading ring's momentum.

There are hundreds of density waves spread over the A ring that are generated by different moon resonances. Tajeddine compares it to tug of war with many knots along the gravitational rope. All of these gravitational pushes by these moons slow the ring down and pull momentum from it. So much momentum is lost by the time the ring gets to Janus that the forces create the edge of the A ring.

Senior author Joe Burns, Ph.D. '66, the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering and professor of astronomy said: "This was exactly the sort of information we had hoped the Cassini mission would provide, and by doing so it has allowed us to solve this puzzle."

Tajeddine said scientists are still not sure how the rings formed, but the mechanism of their confinement is finally understood. "That's the novelty of this idea. No one imagined that rings were held by shared responsibility," he said.

"The density waves created by moons are beautiful to look at, but they actually participate in confining the ring," said Tajeddine. "Janus has been getting all of the credit for stopping the A ring, which has been unfair to the other moons."

"What Confines the Rings of Saturn?" will be published Oct. 18 in the Astrophysical Journal. Tajeddine also presented this research in a poster at the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Science meeting Oct. 17 in Provo, Utah.

SATURN DAILY
NASA team finds noxious ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 19, 2017
Researchers with NASA's Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The finding is a new demonstration of the complex chemistry occurring in Titan's atmosphere - in this case, cloud formation in the giant moon's stratosphere - and part of a collection of processes that ultimately helps deliver a smorgasbor ... read more

Related Links
Cornell University
Explore The Ring World of Saturn and her moons
Jupiter and its Moons
The million outer planets of a star called Sol
News Flash at Mercury


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SATURN DAILY
Spacewalkers fix robotic arm in time to grab next cargo ship

NASA develops and tests new housing for in-orbit science payloads

Plants and psychological well-being in space

Russia's space agency says glitch in manned Soyuz landing

SATURN DAILY
NASA awards launch contracts for Landsat 9 and Sentinel-6A

It's a success! Blue Origin conducts first hot-fire test of BE-4 engine

ESA role in Europe's first all-electric telecom satellite

Lockheed Martin Launches Second Cycle of 'Girls' Rocketry Challenge' in Japan

SATURN DAILY
Mars Rover Mission Progresses Toward Resumed Drilling

Mine craft for Mars

Opportunity spends the week imaging Perseverance Valley

Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons

SATURN DAILY
Space will see Communist loyalty: Chinese astronaut

China launches three satellites

Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

UN official commends China's role in space cooperation

SATURN DAILY
Myanmar to launch own satellite system-2 in 2019: vice president

Eutelsat's Airbus-built full electric EUTELSAT 172B satellite reaches geostationary orbit

Turkey, Russia to Enhance Cooperation in the Field of Space Technologies

SpaceX launches 10 satellites for Iridium mobile network

SATURN DAILY
These headsets are made for walking over Mars

Xenesis Licenses Cutting Edge IP from NASA/JPL

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

Using space to study ultra-cold materials

SATURN DAILY
From Comets Come Planets

New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds

A star that devoured its own planets

Astronomers find potential solution into how planets form

SATURN DAILY
Haumea, the most peculiar of Pluto companions, has a ring around it

Ring around a dwarf planet detected

Helicopter test for Jupiter icy moons radar

Solving the Mystery of Pluto's Giant Blades of Ice




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement