NASA's Cassini spacecraft spots unusual activity in Saturn's outermost ring.
A bright disruption has been spotted in Saturn's outermost ring.
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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has recently beamed back an image of planet Saturn and the rings encircling it. In the image, some sort of disturbance on the outermost ring of Saturn called F ring can be observed. This strange activity is not caused by either Pandora or any other Saturn moon which is orbiting quite closer to the ring and can be easily blamed for the disruption. In fact, it is the small object embedded in the ring itself that is interacting with the material in the ring’s core and is causing turbulence in the area. The intermixing of object on F ring and the material in its core is also referred as “jets” by the scientists.
The recent image is taken by narrow angle camera installed on Cassini spacecraft. Despite its remarkable high resolution imaging ability, it is not able to spot the actual object. It is just the unusual activity that is hinting at its presence.
It is not the first time when Saturn’s rings have gone through disruption. Though, most of the times it was caused by an outsider. For instance, in September 2013, a piece of cosmic debris collided with Saturn’s rings and left an impact plume. Earlier, small meteorites also crashed into the Saturn rings and kicked up clouds of dust.
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According to NASA blog, the latest disruption is photographed on April at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles from Cassini spacecraft. Cassini is on the mission to explore Saturn and its ring system and has been orbiting the planet since 2004.