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Propeller from Unlit Side

22 Jul 2017, 21:19 UTC
Propeller from Unlit Side
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

NASA dixit:
“August 19, 2008. A propeller-shaped structure created by an unseen moon appears dark in this image obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft of the unilluminated side of Saturn’s rings. The propeller is marked with a red arrow in the top left of the annotated version of the image. The Encke Gap of Saturn’s A ring is in the lower right of the image. The A ring is the outermost of Saturn’s main rings. The moon, likely about a kilometer (half a mile) across, can’t be seen at this resolution. However, it is larger than other “propeller” moons and has cleared ring material from the bright (because they are less opaque) wing-like regions to its left and right in this image. Disturbed ring material close to the moon blocks more sunlight and appears like a dark airplane propeller.
Several density waves are visible in the ring, particularly in the upper left. A spiral density wave is a spiral-shaped accumulation of particles that tightly winds many times around the planet. It is the result of gravitational tugs by individual moons whose orbits are in resonance with the particles’ orbits at a specific distance from Saturn. A propeller’s appearance changes with viewing ...

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