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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.
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"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.
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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, 01:28 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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