In recent days, the legendary mission Cassini spacecraft, NASA conducted a series of rings around Saturn orbit skimming by clicking the image of the mysterious unseen rings months of the gas giant. These photos and other data were analyzed by astronomers, shed new light on these elusive about the & # 39; origin of the objects and the majestic rings of Saturn.
Saturn has 60 known satellites, a small handful of them parked within or closely, planet ring system. A new study published this week in science reduced new knowledge about the five months of the ring – the Sovereign, Daphnis, Atlas, Epimetheus and Pandora – including information about their shape and composition.
A new paper led by Bonnie Buratti of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, also provides new insights into the ring system of Saturn, and how this could happen.
Cassino six circular orbit grazing took place in the period from December 2016 to April 2017, with the mission comes to an end in September 2017, when the probe is intentionally crashed into Saturn. Pictures taken with the Cassini were stunning, showing a month unlike anything ever seen.
Take Pan, e.g., 8 km width Luna characteristic recesses on its surface and a protruding ridge resembles equatorial pack. Daphnis sits in a dangerous gap in the orbit in the ring of Saturn, and it also has a "skirt" around the equator.
Indeed, these five internal months – none of which is wider than 20 km – very original, featuring unusual shapes, surface features and colors. Moreover, they seem to have a similar but poorly understood relationship with the rings of Saturn.
Equipped with the new data and the Cassini unprecedented close-up images, Buratti and her colleagues were able to take a deeper look at these mysterious about the & # 39 objects.
"We were trying to figure out how to ring the month and the main ring system is linked," said Buratti Gizmodo"Basically, they are one and the same?"
Buratti and her colleagues are also looking for clues to figure out when Saturn's rings formed by the collision of heaven, and if copious amounts of material in the rings of the ring bore months.
Indeed, stone disc and ice around Saturn may be similar, and include similar processes proto solar disk (of which the planet, including Earth formed) during the first days of the solar system.
Finally, the researchers hoped to see, in addition to the water ice when volatile chemicals exist in this ring moons.
Distinctive geology of the five satellites, according to analysis, resulting in a complex, multistep process in which about 39 & #; objects formed from the solidification of the ring material. Strong tidal pressure and slow accumulation of particles in the ring grooves and ridges caused to form on the surface.
Thus, it appears that the month and the ring system formed of a giant pin.
"Satellites giant shards left over from the shock," said Buratti Gizmodo"The" skirt "around the equator of the ring particles, which continue to grow into. Method months dig their way into the particles can be less, an example of how the planets form of smaller particles. "
As for the strange colors of red, Ban, and Epimetheus with & # 39 is the blue. Buratti said she was "very surprised at how Red Pan was," noting that the satellites "get redder as you get close to Saturn, which further suggests that the surface of the ring particles have accumulated."
Chemical compounds responsible for the color, as well as related processes, not yet fully understood, but it may include a red chromophore – a mixture of organic matter and iron. The particles of ice or water vapor from the E-ring of Saturn and water vapor from volcanic loops on Saturn Enceladus may be factors in accordance with the paper.
"The study confirms the effect that the particles of water ice plume of Enceladus to run on the Saturnian system," said Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, who was not involved with the new research Gizmodo.
"It's interesting to see how these tiny particles really change the color and the Arctic months closer to Enceladus as well as intriguing to see how well a Saturn ring protects the satellites introduced some of these particles."
With regard to other than the water ice volatiles were detected nor exist on satellites ring surface.
"The presence of molecules having a higher volatility than water ice will indicate the material that occurs in the colder region outside Saturnian system," the authors wrote in a new study. "For example, the detection of CO2 ice on the uneven outer months Phoebe suggested that it originated in the Kuiper belt."
The absence of volatile substances, thus with a 39 & # is another proof that the months of the ring formed in the rings and not scooped intense gravity Saturn.
"The results of this work will help us better understand the complex interaction of space when working in the Saturnian system," said Tanya Harrison, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, who is not related to a new study, Gizmodo"Satellites ring particles, and even Saturn itself, all interacting to create worlds and environment unlike anywhere else in our solar system."
Steepest part of the study, Harrison said that strange dumplings in the form of a month – the Sovereign, Daphnis and Atlas – acquired its appearance on the main collection of ice and dust particles from the rings of Saturn around the equator, they moved in their orbits. As for her favorite rings the moon, that the difference is the Lord.
"I want to know what it looks like there are at the base of his ring" belt "and look at it," she said, "It looks pretty cool, so I imagine it reminds a bit in The Wall game of thrones".
Harrison, Becker also intrigued by the Pan, especially the variation observed along the equatorial ridge. She wants to know why the thickness and extent of the ridge is so variable around its surface. Becker said that future studies should look at it and figure out how and where the ring particles are collected on the surface of the moon.
Another point of interest (though not quite enough) supervision, said Harrison, with & # 39 is that the closer to the moon Enceladus, the blue is – probably the result of water ice and vapor spewing from Enceladus' south polar geysers.
"This matter is all the snap ring of Saturn, and" snow "down in the coming months," said Harrison Gizmodo"Enceladus is doing great, although beautiful, mess all over the Saturnian system."
The new document is also a & # 39 is significant, said Becker, how Saturn's rings can be used proxy for the disks around young stars where planets form – including at the beginning of our own solar system.
"With drawings and measurement satellites, which are embedded in the rings with & # 39 is one of the best ways imaginable, to learn how planets form, grow and interact with the disk," said Becker.
Without a doubt, with Saturn & # 39 is one of the most exciting and intriguing about the & # 39 objects in the Solar System. It contains worlds within worlds, and thanks to the late great Cassini, we are lucky enough to be able to watch these alien place.[Science]