Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cassini spacecraft spies new moon in Saturn's outer ring (~4 mile diameter)
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 5/10/05 | AP - Pasadena

Posted on 05/10/2005 7:09:27 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - The international Cassini spacecraft has spied a tiny new moon hidden in a gap in Saturn's outer ring, scientists reported Tuesday.

The moon was spotted earlier this month orbiting in the center of the Keeler gap, making waves in the gap edges as it circles. Tentatively called S/2005 S1, the moon measures four miles across and is about 85,000 miles from the center of Saturn.

More observations are needed to determine the shape of the moon's orbit, but preliminary findings show it is in the middle of the gap, said Joseph Spitale, a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

S/2005 S1 is the second known moon to exist within Saturn's shimmering rings. The other is Pan, which orbits in the Encke gap. All of Saturn's other known moons are outside the main ring system.

The $3.3 billion Cassini mission, funded by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies, was launched in 1997 and took seven years to reach Saturn.

The Huygens probe aboard the spacecraft was released in December 2004 and plunged to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in January. Titan's atmosphere is similar to that of early Earth and scientists say studying it could provide clues to how life arose here.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: cassini; huygens; keelergap; newmoon; outerring; saturn; space; spies; titan

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm

Cassini Finds New Saturn Moon that Makes Waves - May. 10, 2005

In a spectacular kick-off to its first season of prime ring viewing, which began last month, the Cassini spacecraft has confirmed earlier suspicions of an unseen moon hidden in a gap in Saturn's outer A ring. A new image and movie show the new moon and the waves it raises in the surrounding ring material.

1 posted on 05/10/2005 7:09:28 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
See the New Moon Time-Lapse Movie
2 posted on 05/10/2005 7:10:43 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis

space ping


3 posted on 05/10/2005 7:19:28 PM PDT by King Prout (blast and char it among fetid buzzard guts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale; Brett66; xrp; gdc314; anymouse; RadioAstronomer; NonZeroSum; jimkress; discostu; ...

4 posted on 05/10/2005 7:21:20 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

The view from the surface of that moon must be unbelievable.


5 posted on 05/10/2005 7:26:24 PM PDT by Brett66 (W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
Interesting. It appears to be a dirty snowball made from the material that comprised the ring at that distance from Saturn's cloud tops.

I'll bet that if we were able to shove it out of orbit towards the sun, we'd eventually see it as a comet.

Probably is so tiny due to it's orbit within the Roche limit.

6 posted on 05/10/2005 7:35:18 PM PDT by FierceDraka (The Democratic Party - Aiding and Abetting The Enemies of America Since 1968)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Two Thirds Vote Aye

Thank YOU!!


7 posted on 05/10/2005 7:35:46 PM PDT by Molly Pitcher (We are Americans...the sons and daughters of liberty...*.from FReeper the Real fifi*)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Are there any other moons in our solar system of comparable size to our own?


8 posted on 05/10/2005 7:37:41 PM PDT by gop4lyf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gop4lyf

Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and Io are larger than Luna (our moon). In fact, Ganymede and Titan are larger than the planet Mercury.


9 posted on 05/10/2005 8:03:59 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: gop4lyf

PS. Europa is just about the same size as our moon and Triton is a bit smaller.


10 posted on 05/10/2005 8:05:11 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: gop4lyf

Several. Callisto and Ganymede are bigger than Luna, and Europa, Io, and Triton are comparable to it. There are quite a few about half the size, but most are fairly small like this new one.


11 posted on 05/10/2005 8:05:16 PM PDT by Arthalion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Have they got a picture of anyone mooning the Cassini from Saturn?


12 posted on 05/10/2005 8:09:42 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Very cool picture. Thanks.


13 posted on 05/10/2005 9:14:27 PM PDT by microgood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv

But our moon is unique in being so large in comparison to the size of the "mother planet". I've seen it remarked that the earth and moon would be deemed a double planet if observed ( hypothetically ) from a distant solar system.


14 posted on 05/10/2005 9:20:01 PM PDT by dr_lew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: dr_lew

> But our moon is unique in being so large in comparison to the size of the "mother planet".

ERRRR. Charon and Pluto are far closer in size than Luna and Earth. They are also *both* tidally locked.


15 posted on 05/10/2005 9:34:49 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

I call first dibs.


16 posted on 05/10/2005 9:36:14 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberals are all heart, they care for everybody they care for and hate the rest.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
Well, Pluto and Charon are a double planet. The planet Pluto was resolved into Pluto and Charon. Charon was not a satellite discovered orbiting Pluto. I guess you could claim there's no objective difference, but in fact, this is how the discovery was perceived.

Comparing the Earth and Moon to Pluto and Charon highlights the Moon's uniqueness, qua moon.

17 posted on 05/10/2005 9:44:14 PM PDT by dr_lew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson