Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn: Bright Tethys and Ancient Rings
Posted on 09/16/2012 8:37:42 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: How old are Saturn's rings? No one is quite sure. One possibility is that the rings formed relatively recently in our Solar System's history, perhaps only about 100 million years ago when a moon-sized object broke up near Saturn. Evidence for a young ring age includes a basic stability analysis for rings, and the fact that the rings are so bright and relatively unaffected by numerous small dark meteor impacts. More recent evidence, however, raises the possibility that some of Saturn's rings may be billions of years old and so almost as old as Saturn itself. Inspection of images by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft indicates that some of Saturn's ring particles temporarily bunch and collide, effectively recycling ring particles by bringing fresh bright ices to the surface. Seen here, Saturn's rings were imaged in their true colors by the robotic Cassini in late October. Icy bright Tethys, a moon of Saturn likely brightened by a sandblasting rain of ice from sister moon Enceladus, is visible in front of the darker rings.
(Excerpt) Read more at 18.104.22.168 ...
Looks like a Catastrophism pingworthy topic, formation of Saturn's rings, how, when, etc.
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You too can have bright Teethys if you brush regularly!
We used to play Tethys ball on the playground when I was a kid.
Oooo...I LIKE that one!
Thank you, Civ!
I love Saturn’s rings. They remind me of my record collection every time I see them.
I knew it! I just knew it!
That’s no moon!
For some reason, I’m thinking of the theme music from Moe, Larry, and Curly. ;’)
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