Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturn's rings



We're only a few months away from Saturn's equinox, the day when the Sun will pass through the plane of Saturn's rings. So to an observer standing on Saturn's rings, the Sun is beginning to set, and casting long shadows... I believe that what we're actually seeing is clumpiness of particles at the outer edge of the densest B ring, where particles bunch together partially by self-gravity (which would make them more like moons) but also by the periodic gravitational shoves they get from [Saturn's moon] Mimas.

source: io9

5 comments:

Mieze said...

We have a telescope and have made it a point to check out Saturn every night for the past two weeks. Want to see all the rings before they "disappear".

And we dream about deep space....

kier said...

oh lucky you! i'd like to have a telescope. how long left till the rings go?

Mieze said...

There are about 3 months left before the planet's turned in such a way that the rings will seem nonexistent... and it will stay that way until sometime in 2011. So we're trying to see it as often as we can!

kier said...

that's long! it makes sense, but it is long.

Mieze said...

I know! So when you can, get out there some night and take a look.... don't want to miss it!