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Inward Migration of Mimas Helped Shape Saturn’s Rings

12 Jun 2019, 01:43 UTC
Inward Migration of Mimas Helped Shape Saturn’s Rings © Cassini, Dante, Baillié and Noyelles

The Solar System’s second largest planet both in mass and size, Saturn is best known for its rings. These are divided by a wide band, the Cassini Division, whose formation was poorly understood until very recently. Now, researchers from the CNRS, the Paris Observatory – PSL and the University of Franche-Comté have shown that Mimas, one of Saturn’s moons, acted as a kind of remote snowplough, pushing apart the ice particles that make up the rings.

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