Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Supersize me!

An extra ring located around Saturn.
The bulk of the ring material starts about 3.7 million miles from the planet and extends outward about another 7.4 million miles.
So this new ring is obviously extremely far away from the planet, but I assume still within its gravitational field. Nothing from Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy yet, but I'll check back to see if he blogs about this soon.

Here is the NASA press release of the discovery made by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Conceptualized view of Saturns New Ring

This ring is definitely within the gravitational field of Saturn. The Saturnian moon Phoebe is as distant from Saturn as this ring.

1 comment:

RPS77 said...

Interesting. Apparently this might explain why half of the moon Iapatus is covered in dark material - it could have accumulated a dark layer by colliding with vast numbers of dark ring particles.