After many days of studying various pictures of the slender G ring of Saturn, scientists believe there are at least one or more moonlits traveling within the ring itself. In a NASA press release stated; “Micrometeoroids collide with the large particles, releasing smaller, dust-sized particles that brighten the arc. The plasma in the giant planet’s magnetic field sweeps through this arc continually, dragging out the fine particles and creating the G ring.”
Now what I find interesting in the new discoveries of Saturn’s rings, scientists seem to have neglected trying to answer the question, “How can all these interactions so delicate and dynamic with these rings could continue on for billions of years?”
Before we were able to observe this rings more closely with the Cassini spacecraft, scientists were expecting far less complex rings which were suppose to be more stable. They never came close to predicting ring spokes, ring collisions, many thousands of ringlets and ring arcs.
One would think these moons and particles had pretty much settled into a stable old age so I wouldn’t necessarily blame the scientists for predicting simple and stable rings because of their belief in an old Universe. Although, as a creationist, I don’t agree with the concept of an old universe but do agree with Saturn’s rings displaying their youthfulness so it’s not surprising to find delicate and dynamic rings to study.
Now on Saturn’s G ring the moonlet in which is believed to be found is so tiny that it cannot even measure it’s size but suspect it might be the source for the G ring. Science Daily reports…
“This brings the number of Saturnian ring arcs with embedded moonlets found by Cassini to three. The new moonlet may not be alone in the G ring arc. Previous measurements with other Cassini instruments implied the existence of a population of particles, possibly ranging in size from 1 to 100 meters (about three to several hundred feet) across.
“Meteoroid impacts into, and collisions among, these bodies and the moonlet could liberate dust to form the arc,” said Hedman.”
The next encounter for Cassini will be interesting in itself as it will be taking more pictures of Titan, on March 27, 2009. Next year, Cassini is programmed to get a much needed closer look at Saturn’s rings. Perhaps reveal better detail of the rings and a better look at the tiny specs one can hardly see at all from it’s current arrary of pictures.