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On a ring origin of the equatorial ridge of Iapetus
Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Aug 29 2006, 06:18 PM
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Wing Ip just had an interesting Iapetus-related paper published in GRL.
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tasp
post Sep 7 2006, 03:03 PM
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We may find Iapetan like ridge structures on a percentage of the larger KBOs.

Not sure NASA wold mass produce New Horizon clones and start launching them en masse to the outer solar system ( [laugh] ), but it would be interesting to have a few more examples to study.
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TritonAntares
post Sep 7 2006, 03:50 PM
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Hi,
before we should keep on speculating whether the equatorial ridge was built by an ancient Iapetian ring,
we should take a closer look at the ridge, e.g. if there are older structures below it - what could answer its built up...

Here again what I wrote half a year ago - and an interesting pic:
QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Apr 6 2006, 08:54 PM) *
One question to answer should be:
What is older, the equatorial ridge or its surrunding/overlaying area, speak the craters?

Therefore I compared these two shots of the 'belly band':
Attached Image

Visible left is a large bassin (large pink circle) in the western part of CR cut by the part of the ridge with the 'white peaks'.
Thus the crater must be older than them, even if its central peak (small pink circle) doesn't coincide with the 'white peak' NW of it
and it is also lower. So you could guess the ridge there is fairly young, maybe eruptive....

In the right image another part of the ridge in central CR is shown. It seems to be quite old.
Lots of craters (red circles) crashed into it and disturbed its line.
The craters in the blue circles look somehow tilted, probably raised up by the ridge.
But due to bad resolution this is difficult to discern...

And don't forget there is no evidence for the ridge east of CR, only some uncertain albedo features.

Is the equatorial ridge powered by some longitudinal subsurfaced source or is there a gravitational cause from one direction?
The belts different heights and ages then could be explained by a longitudinal shift over a longterm period.
So, if there is really an older feature below a ring-built belt we could eventually be in trouble with the ring's age....

For me speaking,
I'm more convinced of an internal origin of the belt - probably connected with a large impact and/or some internal processes.

This ring theory sounds too strange and unlikely... blink.gif huh.gif
But planets around a neutron star did that as well ... wink.gif

Bye.
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ngunn
post Sep 8 2006, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 7 2006, 04:50 PM) *
Hi,
This ring theory sounds too strange and unlikely... Bye.


That makes you the second poster here, along with Ugordan, to be sceptical of the whole idea. Any particular reason for this, or just a general hunch? As an undergraduate in 1970 I remember arguing with my geology professor about the origin of lunar craters. His line was "Why invoke an exotic external cause when there's a perfectly natural geological explanation?"

With hindsight it seems surprising that fossil ring structures were not predicted ahead of the Iapetus discovery, given the ubiquity of rings when things break up in the vicinity of other things, plus the fact that most ring material will inevitably spiral inward over time and has to end up somewhere.

So, A QUESTION: Has anybody here come across a prior prediction of fossil ring structures, either in the scientific literature, in fiction, or in informal communications?
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ugordan
post Sep 8 2006, 11:05 AM
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I have absolutely no idea on which internal process could create the ridge, but I am skeptical of the ring hypothesis mainly because I don't see it very likely that smallish Iapetus could have enough gravity to align the orbiting debris along its equatorial plane. Isn't that possible only due to the rotational bulge at the equator? Iapetus has a small radius so a 16 hour rotation wouldn't produce centrifugal forces as big as on a body twice the radius. The bulge would be lower. Therefore, orbiting debris would be unlikely to align into an quatorial ring that easily. An equatorial ring maintained long enough, even due to Saturn's perturbations? I also don't like the explanation on why the ridge isn't complete around the equator. And how does it all fit with the dark stuff? Why is the color of the dark stuff practically identical to Hyperion's color, only differing in albedo?

There's just too much magic fairy work here, IMHO.


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Rob Pinnegar
post Sep 8 2006, 01:56 PM
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Two things today:

QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 8 2006, 05:05 AM) *
I have absolutely no idea on which internal process could create the ridge, but I am skeptical of the ring hypothesis mainly because I don't see it very likely that smallish Iapetus could have enough gravity to align the orbiting debris along its equatorial plane.


(1) Hmmm. You may just have come up with a device to explain the inward spiralling of the rings.

Saturn's ring system is pretty much flatter than a board. Presumably it gets hit by objects from time to time (comets, meteroroids and the like) that would be able to scatter ring particles into inclined orbits. However, any such particles will end up in a ring-crossing orbit, and will end up hitting other ring particles and getting re-absorbed into the rings. Each impact will of course add net momentum (and angular momentum) to the ring system, but over time these should average to zero -- and even if they didn't, tidal effects from Saturn and the moons ought to be more than capable of keeping things in order.

A ring around Iapetus, though, would experience perturbations from Saturn that would warp the ring. It probably wouldn't warp it like an old vinyl LP record left out in the sun -- instead it would tend to "smudge" the ring perpendicular to Iapetus' equatorial plane. The ring would constantly be trying to flatten itself out through the mechanism described above, i.e. ring particles would constantly be hitting each other from "above" and "below". Any component of a collision perpendicular to the ring plane would take net energy away from the ring system, and though I haven't done the math, I'm betting that this would tend to cause the ring to spiral in towards Iapetus over time.

Wild hypothesizing: If you look at the distribution of dust in the asteroid belt, there are concentrations about 9 degrees above and below the ecliptic. This is thought to be due to particles from a recent major asteroid-asteroid collision. Due to their inclined orbits, the dust particles spend a disproportionate amount of time away from the ecliptic, and tend to "collect" at +- 9 degees altitude.

Perhaps the perturbations from Saturn could have been responsible for an analogous "three-layered" structure in the proto-Iapetan ring, that is reflected in the mass distribution of the ridge structure? (I have to be honest -- I don't believe this for a minute -- and am just tossing it out here as an idea.)

(2) The recently posted image that shows the "triple structure" of the ridge is in fact the one I referred to the other week. Great. Now, are we absolutely certain that those three parallel lines are three parallel ridges and not some other type of linear structure within a single ridge? This was my reason for asking about it in the first place.

Perhaps it would be possible to produce a stereo pair to get some altitude information? There were quite a few images taken of this region during the New Year's distant flyby. I have no idea how to do that sort of thing, unfortunately.

[Edit: I was typing this post when Tasp put up his above message -- which also covers the topic of "ring flattening". Neat coincidence, that.]
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Posts in this topic
- AlexBlackwell   On a ring origin of the equatorial ridge of Iapetus   Aug 29 2006, 06:18 PM
- - volcanopele   okay, now a ring around Iaptetus is an interesting...   Aug 29 2006, 06:20 PM
- - AlexBlackwell   Here's an interesting passage from the conclud...   Aug 29 2006, 06:25 PM
- - Michael Capobianco   Does the paper address why the equatorial ridge do...   Aug 29 2006, 06:40 PM
|- - David   QUOTE (Michael Capobianco @ Aug 29 2006, 06...   Aug 29 2006, 07:05 PM
|- - Decepticon   QUOTE (Michael Capobianco @ Aug 29 2006, 02...   Aug 29 2006, 11:56 PM
|- - JRehling   Roughly speaking, I guess the fact that the ridge ...   Aug 30 2006, 01:07 AM
- - jsheff   Would this process also explain the albedo assymet...   Aug 29 2006, 07:06 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (jsheff @ Aug 29 2006, 02:06 PM) Wo...   Sep 10 2006, 01:35 AM
- - AlexBlackwell   QUOTE (Michael Capobianco @ Aug 29 2006, 08...   Aug 29 2006, 07:44 PM
- - tasp   An object skimming the surface of Iapetus will hav...   Aug 30 2006, 05:11 AM
- - AlexBlackwell   There was a brief blurb about this paper yesterday...   Aug 30 2006, 07:53 PM
- - Rob Pinnegar   I guess this idea probably originated with those i...   Aug 30 2006, 09:41 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Aug 30 2006, 04:41 ...   Aug 30 2006, 11:29 PM
- - dvandorn   Does Iapetus' ridge have to have been created ...   Aug 31 2006, 12:04 AM
|- - tasp   Maintaining focus (or collimation) of the strand ...   Aug 31 2006, 03:02 AM
|- - David   I think I understand the idea to be one of a low-v...   Aug 31 2006, 07:23 AM
- - ngunn   Under the scenario proposed I would expect volatil...   Aug 31 2006, 10:00 AM
|- - ugordan   QUOTE (ngunn @ Aug 31 2006, 11:00 AM) Cou...   Aug 31 2006, 11:18 AM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (ugordan @ Aug 31 2006, 12:18 PM) M...   Aug 31 2006, 11:50 AM
|- - ugordan   The point I was trying to make is the greatest tem...   Aug 31 2006, 12:08 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (ugordan @ Aug 31 2006, 01:08 PM) A...   Aug 31 2006, 12:38 PM
- - ngunn   One other point - the 'catastrophic atmosphere...   Aug 31 2006, 01:06 PM
- - tasp   Invoking an atmosphere above a certain very low de...   Aug 31 2006, 01:27 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (tasp @ Aug 31 2006, 02:27 PM) Invo...   Aug 31 2006, 02:01 PM
|- - The Messenger   QUOTE (tasp @ Aug 31 2006, 07:27 AM) I al...   Sep 3 2006, 11:22 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (The Messenger @ Sep 4 2006, 12:22 ...   Sep 4 2006, 10:13 AM
||- - The Messenger   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 4 2006, 04:13 AM) Why?...   Sep 6 2006, 03:21 AM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (The Messenger @ Sep 6 2006, 04:21 ...   Sep 6 2006, 08:15 AM
|||- - JRehling   A comment on followup missions: Whatever future mi...   Sep 6 2006, 12:02 PM
|||- - ugordan   QUOTE (JRehling @ Sep 6 2006, 01:02 PM) A...   Sep 6 2006, 12:29 PM
|||- - mchan   QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 6 2006, 05:29 AM) Tr...   Sep 6 2006, 11:15 PM
|||- - ugordan   QUOTE (mchan @ Sep 7 2006, 12:15 AM) I do...   Sep 7 2006, 06:58 AM
||- - TritonAntares   Hi, let us anticipate the equatorial ridge was bui...   Sep 6 2006, 08:51 AM
||- - ugordan   The ridge is ancient which means the ring is also ...   Sep 6 2006, 09:03 AM
|||- - ngunn   QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 6 2006, 10:03 AM) Pe...   Sep 6 2006, 12:41 PM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 6 2006, 09:51 ...   Sep 6 2006, 09:05 AM
||- - tasp   QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 6 2006, 03:51 ...   Sep 9 2006, 02:32 PM
|- - JRehling   QUOTE (The Messenger @ Sep 3 2006, 04:22 ...   Sep 5 2006, 04:44 PM
- - tasp   And this, consider the oblique impactor that may h...   Aug 31 2006, 01:33 PM
- - ngunn   Note the following sentence already quoted by Alex...   Aug 31 2006, 02:52 PM
- - tasp   I am having trouble seeing how the precipitating l...   Aug 31 2006, 03:56 PM
- - Rob Pinnegar   You mention "attendant ridges". This was...   Aug 31 2006, 05:20 PM
- - ngunn   On multiple ridges - perhaps the emplacement of th...   Sep 1 2006, 11:26 AM
- - tasp   I admit a certain favoring of an oblique impact kn...   Sep 1 2006, 01:45 PM
- - ngunn   This discussion has become really interesting. I...   Sep 1 2006, 02:52 PM
- - ngunn   Just found John Rehling's rather nice diagram ...   Sep 4 2006, 01:49 PM
|- - TritonAntares   Hi, I've just been back from a 1-week-vacation...   Sep 5 2006, 10:27 AM
- - ngunn   I did ask the other day for someone to re-post an ...   Sep 6 2006, 02:08 PM
|- - ugordan   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 6 2006, 03:08 PM) I di...   Sep 6 2006, 02:15 PM
- - djellison   Links to that place are not a good idea. Can peop...   Sep 6 2006, 02:13 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 6 2006, 03:13 PM) ...   Sep 6 2006, 02:31 PM
|- - Themisto   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 6 2006, 04:31 PM) Sorr...   Sep 6 2006, 03:06 PM
- - djellison   That's better We used to worry about mention...   Sep 6 2006, 03:10 PM
- - ngunn   OK let's see if this works.. http://www.aaw-d...   Sep 6 2006, 03:45 PM
- - tasp   3 intersecting ridges, all describing segments of ...   Sep 6 2006, 06:47 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (tasp @ Sep 6 2006, 07:47 PM) The f...   Sep 7 2006, 08:51 AM
- - tasp   Some of the criteria that seem to be needed for us...   Sep 7 2006, 02:58 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (tasp @ Sep 7 2006, 03:58 PM) Some ...   Sep 7 2006, 03:45 PM
- - tasp   We may find Iapetan like ridge structures on a per...   Sep 7 2006, 03:03 PM
|- - TritonAntares   Hi, before we should keep on speculating whether t...   Sep 7 2006, 03:50 PM
|- - ngunn   QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 7 2006, 04:50 ...   Sep 8 2006, 10:44 AM
|- - ugordan   I have absolutely no idea on which internal proces...   Sep 8 2006, 11:05 AM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 8 2006, 12:05 PM) I ...   Sep 8 2006, 12:04 PM
|||- - ugordan   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 8 2006, 01:04 PM) On g...   Sep 8 2006, 12:25 PM
|||- - ngunn   QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 8 2006, 01:25 PM) It...   Sep 8 2006, 12:45 PM
|||- - ugordan   Yeah, but why would it flatten itself along the eq...   Sep 8 2006, 12:50 PM
||- - Rob Pinnegar   Two things today: QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 8 200...   Sep 8 2006, 01:56 PM
|- - ynyralmaen   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 8 2006, 12:44 PM) So, ...   Sep 8 2006, 11:34 AM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (ynyralmaen @ Sep 8 2006, 12:34 PM)...   Sep 8 2006, 12:12 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 8 2006, 05:44 AM) So, ...   Sep 8 2006, 01:33 PM
- - Bill Harris   This has been a fascinating discussion. Before Ca...   Sep 8 2006, 12:56 PM
- - ngunn   Hello Bill - nice to know it's not just the 4 ...   Sep 8 2006, 01:18 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 8 2006, 08:18 AM) Hell...   Sep 8 2006, 01:40 PM
- - tasp   Some where here at UMSF is a nice map of Iapetus (...   Sep 8 2006, 02:27 PM
- - tasp   I will note that Iapetus is subject to the smalles...   Sep 8 2006, 02:30 PM
|- - ugordan   However, the surface gravity at Iapetus is also va...   Sep 8 2006, 02:38 PM
- - tasp   I also point out that the New Solar System books...   Sep 8 2006, 02:36 PM
- - tasp   Virtually all solar system objects are believed to...   Sep 8 2006, 02:52 PM
- - ngunn   Is this the one? http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/...   Sep 8 2006, 02:54 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 8 2006, 09:54 AM) Is t...   Sep 8 2006, 02:59 PM
|- - ugordan   Iapetus is undeniably oblate, but the question is ...   Sep 8 2006, 03:04 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 8 2006, 10:04 AM) Ia...   Sep 9 2006, 05:31 AM
- - hendric   I still don't see how the two divergent ridges...   Sep 8 2006, 05:54 PM
|- - TritonAntares   QUOTE 37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005 Session...   Sep 8 2006, 08:29 PM
||- - tasp   QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 8 2006, 03:29 ...   Sep 9 2006, 05:28 AM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (TritonAntares @ Sep 8 2006, 09:29 ...   Sep 9 2006, 08:59 AM
||- - tasp   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 9 2006, 03:59 AM) . . ...   Sep 9 2006, 01:56 PM
||- - ngunn   QUOTE (tasp @ Sep 9 2006, 02:56 PM) I hav...   Sep 9 2006, 09:56 PM
|- - tasp   QUOTE (hendric @ Sep 8 2006, 12:54 PM) I ...   Sep 9 2006, 05:10 AM
- - tasp   Also, check out the big elongated crater at 0 to 3...   Sep 9 2006, 05:35 AM
- - tasp   Just noticed I did not address moonlets below sync...   Sep 9 2006, 09:00 PM
- - tasp   I am thinking we aren't going to see an Iapeta...   Sep 10 2006, 01:00 AM
- - tasp   Speaking of New Horizons, how far out can it produ...   Sep 10 2006, 01:11 AM
- - tasp   Regarding perturbations of a possible Iapetan ring...   Sep 10 2006, 05:08 PM
- - Michael Capobianco   Well, I'm still a bit skeptical as well. For o...   Sep 10 2006, 05:18 PM
- - tasp   Of course, the most interesting bit of the ridge s...   Sep 10 2006, 06:00 PM
- - ngunn   So much to reply to (no, it isn't driving me t...   Sep 10 2006, 08:05 PM
- - tasp   QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 10 2006, 03:05 PM) On ...   Sep 11 2006, 02:42 AM
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