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Saturn's Rings To Shine As Never Before
volcanopele
post Sep 18 2006, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE (alan @ Sep 17 2006, 02:24 PM) *
Reflection of opposition surge off the cloud tops?

Edit : scratch that, the pattern is wrong.

Sunlight reflected of rings onto Saturn, Dark bands are areas where light from cloud tops is blocked by A and B rings. Bright area is cut of in curve at the bottom because this area is north of equator so no sunlight reflected directly from rings

Okay, I get it now. Those are the rings we are looking at against the illuminated night side of Saturn. Okay, now it makes sense.


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alan
post Sep 19 2006, 01:22 AM
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I believe the bright spot above the E-ring in the first image and above the G-ring in the second image is the Earth

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00017855.jpg
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018011.jpg
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volcanopele
post Sep 19 2006, 01:45 AM
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Nice catch:

http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/wspace?t...=1&showsc=1


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Ian R
post Sep 19 2006, 03:58 AM
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Here is probably the best shot of the new "H-ring":

Attached Image


http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00017856.jpg

I would agree with Alan that this ring is probably linked to Janus and Epimetheus.

Ian.


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dvandorn
post Sep 19 2006, 05:41 AM
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The H ring seems much darker and less reflective than the E ring, even (or maybe especially) in this lighting. I'd think this would argue against it being a pure-ice ring. Perhaps it is formed of icy/rocky debris from impacts on Janus and Epimetheus? I guess my first impression is that it's more of a dust ring that an ice ring.

-the other Doug


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alan
post Sep 19 2006, 06:47 AM
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Handful of new images posted.
This is an odd image of the E-ring. The glow above it reminds me of an aurora. Is it something associated with the spokes or just an odd internal reflection?
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018094.jpg
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018092.jpg

It appears to shift between these two
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018096.jpg
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018097.jpg
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dilo
post Sep 19 2006, 09:42 AM
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Alan, I suspect is a reflection/diffusion effect from strongly illuminated main rings; this because is visible also in the"best view of H ring" image posted before where it's nature is clear...


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dilo
post Sep 19 2006, 10:18 AM
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QUOTE (alan @ Sep 19 2006, 01:22 AM) *
I believe the bright spot above the E-ring in the first image and above the G-ring in the second image is the Earth

Another great catch, Alan!
Attached Image
...this makes me happy! biggrin.gif


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Phil Stooke
post Sep 19 2006, 12:41 PM
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dvandorn said "The H ring seems much darker and less reflective than the E ring" - isn't it much more likely that it's just optically thinner?

Phil


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SigurRosFan
post Sep 19 2006, 02:27 PM
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Cassini's Solar Eclipse labeled (91 KB):


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remcook
post Sep 19 2006, 03:40 PM
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I can see my house from here (or at least my home planet)! very VERY nice!
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volcanopele
post Sep 19 2006, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE (SigurRosFan @ Sep 19 2006, 07:27 AM) *
Cassini's Solar Eclipse labeled (91 KB):

The ring you labeled the "F ring" is actually the G ring. Otherwise, great work. Nice to see Mercury included as well.


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SigurRosFan
post Sep 19 2006, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE
The ring you labeled the "F ring" is actually the G ring.

Thanks! Here's my revised version ...
Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Sep 19 2006, 10:27 PM
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Guests






News Release: 2006-110 September 19, 2006



Scientists Discover New Ring and Other Features at Saturn



Saturn sports a new ring in an image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sunday, Sept. 17, during a one-of-a-kind observation.



Other spectacular sights captured by Cassini's cameras include wispy fingers of icy material stretching out tens of thousands of kilometers from the active moon, Enceladus, and a cameo color appearance by planet Earth.



The images were obtained during the longest solar occultation of Cassini's four-year mission. During a solar occultation, the sun passes directly behind Saturn, and Cassini lies in the shadow of Saturn while the rings are brilliantly backlit. Usually, an occultation lasts only about an hour, but this time it was a 12-hour marathon.

Sunday's occultation allowed Cassini to map the presence of microscopic particles that are not normally visible across the ring system. As a result, Cassini saw the entire inner Saturnian system in a new light.

The new ring is a tenuous feature, visible outside the brighter main rings of Saturn and inside the G and E rings, and coincides with the orbits of Saturn's moons Janus and Epimetheus. Scientists expected that meteoroid impacts on Janus and Epimetheus might kick particles off the moons' surfaces and inject them into Saturn orbit, but they were surprised that a well-defined ring structure exists at this location.

Saturn's extensive, diffuse E ring, the outermost ring, had previously been imaged one small section at a time. The 12-hour marathon enabled scientists to see the entire structure in one view. The moon Enceladus is seen sweeping through the E ring, extending wispy, fingerlike projections into the ring. These very likely consist of tiny ice particles being ejected from Enceladus' south polar geysers, and entering the E-ring.

"Both the new ring and the unexpected structures in the E ring should provide us with important insights into how moons can both release small particles and sculpt their local environments," said Matt Hedman, a research associate working with team member Joseph Burns, an expert in diffuse rings, at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

In the latest observations, scientists once again see the bright ghost-like spokes -- transient, dusty, radial structures -- streaking across the middle of Saturn's main rings.

Capping off the new batch of observations, Cassini cast its powerful eyes in our direction and captured Earth, a pale blue orb, and a faint suggestion of our moon. Not since NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft saw Earth as a pale blue dot from beyond the orbit of Neptune has Earth been imaged in color from the outer solar system.

"Nothing has greater power to alter our perspective of ourselves and our place in the cosmos than these images of Earth we collect from faraway places like Saturn," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Porco was one of the Voyager imaging scientists involved in taking the Voyager `Pale Blue Dot' image. "In the end, the ever-widening view of our own little planet against the immensity of space is perhaps the greatest legacy of all our interplanetary travels."

In the coming weeks, several science teams will analyze data collected by Cassini's other instruments during this rare occultation event. The data will help scientists better understand the relationship between the rings and moons, and will give mission planners a clearer picture of ring hazards to avoid during future ring crossings.
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alan
post Sep 20 2006, 04:08 AM
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This forum digests new data so fast that by the time the press release shows up its already moved on to the next adventure.
wheel.gif wheel.gif wheel.gif
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