Home » News & Blogs » Scientists Find Water Ice Creates the Spokes in Saturn's B Ring
Bookmark and Share
Universe Today

Scientists Find Water Ice Creates the Spokes in Saturn's B Ring

29 Jan 2010, 21:05 UTC
Scientists Find Water Ice Creates the Spokes in Saturn's B Ring NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The mysterious spokes that sometimes appear in Saturn’s largest ring, the B ring, have been unexplained. But new measurements from Cassini's Visual Infrared Mapping spectrometer (VIMS) suggests the radial spokes that sometimes form across the ring are entirely composed of water ice. The existence of the spokes were unexpected and were first observed [...]

Spokes visible in Saturn's B ring. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The mysterious spokes that sometimes appear in Saturn’s largest ring, the B ring, have been unexplained. But new measurements from Cassini's Visual Infrared Mapping spectrometer (VIMS) suggests the radial spokes that sometimes form across the ring are entirely composed of water ice. The existence of the spokes were unexpected and were first observed when the Voyager spacecraft flew by Saturn in 1980. When Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, the spokes were not visible, but later appeared in 2005; the VIMS instrument was not able to observe the spokes until 2008. Even with this new information, the spokes are still mysterious, as they appear to be a seasonal phenomenon and can become visible and then fade within a few hours. The process that creates and dissipates the spokes is unknown.
(...)Read the rest of Scientists Find ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod