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Old 11-29-2005, 03:41 PM
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Default One Saturn ring actually a spiral!

According to this story, Saturn's F ring is actually a spiral.
"These strands, initially interpreted as concentric ring segments, are in fact connected and form a single one-arm trailing spiral winding at least three times around Saturn," Charnoz and colleagues write in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Science.
And it is changing rapidly. The spiral wound itself tighter between November 2004 and May 2005, the Cassini observations show. It will continue to tighten until the strands blend into a more uniform feature, Showalter said.

Prometheus and Pandora, near the F ring, have long been seen as playing a shepherding role, keeping ring particles together and tugging out the curious features. But their role is likely more disruptive than shepherding, Showalter now says.

Charnoz and colleagues say a recently discovered small moon catalogued as S/2004 S6 is involved. This moonlet -- or it may be just a tight clump of material -- can intersect the F ring at high speeds.

But none of these objects fully explains the F ring.
Very interesting.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: One Saturn ring actually a spiral!

I would agree. It is certainly an interesting discovery.

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Old 04-21-2017, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: One Saturn ring actually a spiral!

Since there is no Cassini thread on :ff: for some reason, I am posting this cool thing here.

NASA Image Shows Earth Between the Rings of Saturn

The smaller dot to the left is the Moon.
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