Saturn’s rings are painting its innermost moons.
Data from NASA’s now-defunct Cassini spacecraft show that five odd-shaped moons embedded in Saturn’s rings are different colors, and that the hues come from the rings themselves, researchers report. That observation could help scientists figure out how the moons were born.
“The ring moons and the rings themselves are kind of one and...
A space ravioli. A planetary baguette. A cosmic Kaiser roll. Some of Saturn’s moons have shapes that are strangely reminiscent of culinary concoctions.
Images of the oddball moons, mostly from the now-defunct Cassini spacecraft (SN Online: 9/15/17), got planetary scientists wondering how these satellites ended up with such strange shapes. Now, researchers suggest that collisions between...
Move over, Saturn. The rings around exoplanet J1407b have got you beat by a long shot. Thirty-seven rings extending 90 million kilometers from the planet — over half the distance from the Earth to the sun — encircle the world. These planetary rings are the first found outside the solar system.
The rings are probably shaped by moons forming around the young planet, which is 434 light-...
News in Brief
A mysterious mountain ridge ringing the equator of Saturn’s moon Iapetus may be a load of space rubble.
Ever since the Cassini spacecraft spied the jagged belt wrapped around Iapetus’ middle in 2004, scientists have debated the ridge’s origin. Some think volcanoes shoved it up from beneath the moon’s surface or that tectonic activity created the range. Others think that the towering...
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All of the giant planets in our solar system — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — are adorned with rings. Now a much smaller planetoid can take its place on the list of ringed objects. It is the first time rings have been found around such a small object.
Astronomers have discovered a pair of thin rings encircling 10199 Chariklo, a rock-and-ice asteroid-comet...
GENES & CELLS Understanding inherited conditions is proving to be difficult. See “Rare genetic tweaks may not be behind common diseases.”
ATOM & COSMOS Titan and other moons may be crash debris. See “Violent birth proposed for Saturn’s moon mishmash.”
BODY & BRAIN An invasive surgery works best for some. Read “Heart bypass surgery outperforms stents in...
View the video Saturn’s skies sparkle with the faces of its many moons — some frosted and bright, others darker, honeycombed, or hiding beneath haze. How nature built these worlds from the same set of materials is a conundrum that has eluded scientists for years.
Now, a team suggests that violence early in the solar system’s history produced the many strange moons that rise...