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Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn: Bright Tethys and Ancient Rings
NASA ^ | September 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)

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.

September 16, 2012

(Excerpt) Read more at 129.164.179.22 ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: apod; astronomy; science; tethys
[Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA]

1 posted on 09/16/2012 8:37:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
Looks like a Catastrophism pingworthy topic, formation of Saturn's rings, how, when, etc.
 
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2 posted on 09/16/2012 8:40:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

3 posted on 09/16/2012 8:40:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

You too can have bright Teethys if you brush regularly!


4 posted on 09/16/2012 8:42:50 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

We used to play Tethys ball on the playground when I was a kid.


5 posted on 09/16/2012 8:45:10 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Oooo...I LIKE that one!

Thank you, Civ!


6 posted on 09/16/2012 8:46:16 AM PDT by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: left that other site

My pleasure.


7 posted on 09/16/2012 9:13:53 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blueunicorn6

;’)


8 posted on 09/16/2012 9:14:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: cripplecreek
Interesting game, Tethys-

     
   
     

9 posted on 09/16/2012 9:24:10 AM PDT by mikrofon (Interplanetary 8-Ball)
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To: SunkenCiv

I love Saturn’s rings. They remind me of my record collection every time I see them.


10 posted on 09/16/2012 9:24:48 AM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: SunkenCiv

11 posted on 09/16/2012 9:31:50 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: SunkenCiv; blueunicorn6
There is something a bit disturbing about that shot of Tethys...not quite sure...


12 posted on 09/16/2012 9:33:05 AM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: bigheadfred

I knew it! I just knew it!


13 posted on 09/16/2012 9:36:45 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: bigheadfred

That’s no moon!


14 posted on 09/16/2012 9:37:08 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: JoeProBono; bigheadfred; Delta 21

For some reason, I’m thinking of the theme music from Moe, Larry, and Curly. ;’)


15 posted on 09/16/2012 10:32:27 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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