Saturn may be getting a new moon

A bright arc, which is 1,200 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide, at the edge of Saturn's rings suggests that the planet may be making a new moon. 

Space Science Institute/JPL-Caltech/NASA

An icy object within Saturn’s rings may be a new moon in the making.

Images taken April 15, 2013, with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured an arc at the edge of the planet’s rings that appeared 20 percent brighter than everything around it. The arc, along with protusions in the rings’ usually smooth edge, suggest that something is tugging on the ice and rock circling Saturn, scientists report April 14 in Icarus. The observations suggest that the object is no more than a kilometer in diameter and may provide details about how the planet’s known moons formed. 

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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