Saturn Video Shows Giant Objects Hitting RingsBy: Amanda Crum - April 25, 2012
I’ve always been fascinated with space. The unknown is a scary thing to ponder, and the universe is such a vast, dark place. The possibilities are endless with what we could find there.
And there is so much that we still don’t know, as much as our species has advanced in technology over the years. It’s likely there are some things we will never know. That’s why, when someone discovers something significant about another planet, my ears perk right up.
Take a look at this video, and keep in mind that it’s not the work of a really talented effects person. This is actual footage of the planet Saturn compiled by director Sander van den Berg from shots taken by NASA. It shows space debris bashing against Saturn’s rings as well as gas geysers.
The planet’s outer loop is orbited by two tiny moons, Prometheus and Pandora, which weave in and out of the ring, called the “F” ring. Sometimes the moons brush against it, though, creating balls of ice which leave long, glittering jet-trails behind them, and scientists believe these ice crystals are the debris responsible for crashing into the ring.
Thanks to NASA’s orbiter Cassini, they have a better grasp than ever of the workings of Saturn, also called the “gas giant”.
“The F ring has a circumference of 550,000 miles, and these mini-jets are so tiny they took quite a bit of time and serendipity to find,” said Nick Attree, a Cassini imaging associate. “We combed through 20,000 images and were delighted to find 500 examples of these rogues during just the seven years Cassini has been at Saturn.”