Apr 30, 2012 5:33 AM GMT
Things that make you go hmmm...
Mysterious objects appear to be doing some damage to Saturn's "weirdest ring," scientists say.
The discovery comes from detailed photos taken of the Saturn system by NASA's Cassini orbiter. In these images, researchers spotted strange objects about a half-mile (kilometer) wide tearing through Saturn's F ring, the thin outermost discrete ring around the planet.
As they pass through the ring, these interlopers drag glittering ice particles out with them, creating visible trails of debris scientists are calling "mini jets."
"I think the F ring is Saturn's weirdest ring, and these latest Cassini results go to show how the F ring is even more dynamic than we ever thought," Carl Murray, a Cassini imaging team member based at London's Queen Mary University, said in a statement. "These findings show us that the F ring region is like a bustling zoo of objects from a half mile in size to moons like Prometheus a hundred miles in size, creating a spectacular show."