The NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft has confirmed earlier suspicions of an unseen moon hidden in a gap in Saturns outer A ring. A new image shows the new moon and the waves it raises in the surrounding ring material.
New wave-making moon S/2005 S1 - Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The moon, provisionally named S/2005 S1, was first seen in a time-lapse sequence of images taken on 1 May 2005, as Cassini began its climb to higher inclinations in orbit around Saturn. A day later, an even closer view was obtained, which allowed the moons size and brightness to be measured.
The images show the tiny object in the centre of the Keeler gap and the wavy patterns in the gap edges that are generated by the moons gravitational influence. The Keeler gap is located about 250 kilometres inside the outer edge of the A ring, which is also the outer edge of the bright main rings.
Monica Talevi | alfa
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