Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Saturn May Have Given Birth To a Baby Moon 71

astroengine (1577233) writes "NASA's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has imaged something peculiar on the outermost edge of the gas giant's A-ring. A bright knot, or arc, has been spotted 20 percent brighter than the surrounding ring material and astronomers are interpreting it as a gravitational disturbance caused by a tiny moon. "We have not seen anything like this before," said Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. 'We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Saturn May Have Given Birth To a Baby Moon

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:10PM (#46752219)


    • by Anonymous Coward
      No one's talking about Uranus.
    • Nah, the Saturnians just did yet another launch.. You'd think they would have learned by now that they're really not good at it. Look at all that debris they left in orbit. That's what it's going to look like around the Earth in a few thousand years, if we don't start cleaning up after ourselves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by plover ( 150551 )

      "I felt a disturbance in the gravitational force, as if thousands of tiny particles coalesced into a single moon and were suddenly silenced."

    • by flyneye ( 84093 )

      Saturn, previously thought to be a planet, surprised the world by being a life-form. Scientists are scrambling to Mars where a moon size chunk of what appears to be feces expelled by the entity previously known as planet, crashed.
      Film @ 11.

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:11PM (#46752225)

    Saturn already has "confirmed" moons about the length of a drag strip.... :/ []

    I wonder if this one will be that exciting.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And a lovely, sparkly ring it is, too!

  • I'm kind of glad neither Velikovsky [] nor James P Hogan [] are still alive to blow this out or proportion. Velikovsky had a fundamentally good idea [] but got carried away with it, and James P Hogan wrote some good books related to the subject before his brain went soft in his old age.
    • You think Velikovsky got carried away? John Ackerman [] picked up where he left off.

      But I came to leave the same comment. Well, the Velikovshy part, I didn't expect to find anyone who had read Jim's stuff. I miss him, I used to e-mail back and forth a occasionally. I do own copies of all of his books, most in hardback, and the first editions of the last dozen or so. I never had to heart to tell him that his last few were not very good.

      Anyway, here's to the new baby moon in Saturn's cradle.

      • I have to say I miss Hogan also. My wife and I have also read most of Hogan's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. We are currently introducing our youngest to Hogan by reading Code of the Lifemaker as a family. His writing was not as good near the end and in all he did not publish near enough for my liking. I've yet to find a similar author to replace him in my library. If you have any suggestions I'd be interested in hearing them.

        That all said, I had not heard of Velikovsky or John Ackerman... will hav

        • Velokovsky (and Ackerman) wrote about the birth of Venus, and Mars waging war on the Earth as an actual hypothesis as to how the solar system got to how we view it today. Hogan, as was often his style, took that idea and wove a fictional story around it.

          I wish I had recommendations of other lesser known authors of a similar style, but I've never encountered any. For the most part I probably read the same books that most techies do, Asimov, Gibson, Stephenson. It was just a fluke that my mother bought me the

  • It's just a big zit; relax

  • ... or a Space Baby?

    Wasn't a monolith shaped object spotted on Mars recently?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ,,,at least she got some rings first...

  • Awwww (Score:5, Funny)

    by imikem ( 767509 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:36PM (#46752385) Homepage

    They're so cute, when they're still little.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:38PM (#46752397) Journal

    See, this is what happens when rings are knotty.

  • They're constantly bereating everybody about the importance of launching away from all earth sensors and then this has to happen!
  • In all the mythology I read, Jupiter was always trowing his seed around.
  • by TrollstonButterbeans ( 2914995 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @09:10PM (#46752539)
    You mean *DWARF* moon. Because in order to be considered a *real* moon, it has to clear its orbit of debris.

    (Standing in solidarity with Pluto!!)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "That is no moon" he said, while gesturing vaguely at the remains of Alderaan. "It has not cleared its orbit."

    • You mean *DWARF* moon. Because in order to be considered a *real* moon, it has to clear its orbit of debris.

      That's not debris. It's planetary placenta.

  • Its the Fithp

    Run for the hills

  • And everyone else post "AW! HOW CUUUUUTE!"

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker