Irene Klotz from Discovery News writes about the new discoveries about the ringed planet, after the new “backlighted” photos were taken:

saturn.jpg“Taking advantage of a rare photo moment, scientists using the Cassini spacecraft have found faint new rings circling Saturn and hints of hidden moons. The images were taken as Saturn was virtually dead-set centered in front of the sun, as viewed by the orbiting Cassini probe. Cassini’s cameras detected two new wispy trails of particles lit up like streams of dust in front of a brightly lit window, and confirmed two other previously discovered rings.

Scientists believe the rings are dust particles caused by asteroids or comets striking the surfaces of small inner moons circling Saturn. The moons’ gravity is too weak to hold on to any kind of surface dust, so impacts blast material into Saturn’s orbit, where the particles assemble into loosely packed rings in the moons’ orbital paths.”

Click here for the full story

Tags: , , ,