Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Two new Saturnian moons

17.08.2004


Two new moons orbiting between Mimas and Enceladus, discovered by the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, may be the smallest bodies so far seen around the ringed planet.



The moons are approximately three kilometres and four kilometres across. Located 194 000 kilometres and 211 000 kilometres from the planet’s centre, the moons are between the orbits of two other Saturnian moons, Mimas and Enceladus. They are provisionally named S/2004 S1 and S/2004 S2, bringing the current total of known Saturnian moons to 33.
The moons were first seen by Dr Sebastien Charnoz, a planetary dynamicist working with the imaging team at the University of Paris. One of them, S/2004 S1, may be an object spotted in a single image taken by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft 23 years ago, called at that time S/1981 S14.

The smallest previously known moons around Saturn are about 20 kilometres across. Scientists expected that moons as small as S/2004 S1 and S/2004 S2 might be found within gaps in the rings and perhaps near the F ring, so they were surprised these small bodies are between two major moons.



Small comets careering around the outer Solar System would be expected to collide with small moons and break them up. The fact that these moons exist where they do might provide limits on the number of small comets in the outer Solar System, a quantity essential for understanding the ’Kuiper Belt’ objects beyond Neptune, and the cratering histories of the moons of the giant planets.

Moons surrounding the giant planets generally are not found where they originally formed because tidal forces from the planet can cause them to drift from their original locations. In drifting, they may sweep through locations where other moons disturb them, making their orbits eccentric or inclined relative to the planet’s equator. One of the new moons might have undergone such an evolution.

Cassini-Huygens will be producing more imaging sequences for the gaps in Saturn’s rings in search of moons believed to be there.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a co-operative project of NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian space agency.

Roberto Lo Verde | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms
19.07.2019 | Universität Basel

nachricht Heat transport through single molecules
19.07.2019 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>