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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 11:05 AM

Something Strange Is Happening Inside Saturn

Unusual ripples in Saturn's rings are revealing the mysterious inner workings of the great gas giant. Planetary scientists and modelers are slowly picking apart that mystery.

Billions of particles race around Saturn's 170,000-mile-wide (273,600 kilometers) set of rings, which are mostly water ice with a smattering of rock. The rings are full of activity, including waves that ricochet outward in spiral patterns, most caused by the gravitational pull of Saturn's 62 moons. Waves caused by the moons, which orbit outside the rings' sphere, always travel outward.

But then there's a set of waves heading inward. That means there's something moving inside, too. [Video: Fly Through Space 'In Saturn's Rings']

Most scientists' models of Saturn and other gas giants assume the planet is pretty uniform just a large gas envelope surrounding a small, dense core that's perhaps the size of Earth. But by studying the rings' waves, researchers are finding the picture much more complicated.

"The one thing that might produce this [series of waves] is that some sort of disturbance inside Saturn itself is spinning around with a period that's less than 7 hours," Phillip Nicholson, a planetary scientist at Cornell University in New York, told Space.com. Researchers first noticed hints of that disturbance in the 1990s, and Nicholson's team used more precise measurements to fully document the ring waves' structures, which reflect the oscillations of the planet within sort of like recurring Saturn quakes.

more
http://www.space.com/30665-unraveling-saturn-ring-mystery.html

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Something Strange Is Happening Inside Saturn (Original post)
n2doc Oct 2015 OP
newfie11 Oct 2015 #1
deutsey Oct 2015 #4
saturnsring Oct 2015 #2
Xipe Totec Oct 2015 #3
Beartracks Oct 2015 #8
MasonDreams Oct 2015 #13
the_chinuk Oct 2015 #5
skamaria Oct 2015 #11
cantbeserious Oct 2015 #6
Ratty Oct 2015 #7
DemoTex Oct 2015 #9
MindfulOne Oct 2015 #10
skamaria Oct 2015 #12
Enthusiast Oct 2015 #14
Gonzalo Oct 2015 #15

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 11:14 AM

1. Fascinating

Thank you

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:33 PM

4. I agree n/t

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:14 PM

2. cool stuff -- love science

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:15 PM

3. Something Wonderfull is Going to Happen


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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:58 PM

8. Interestingly, Saturn was the original target planet in 2001.

In the book of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was written more or less concurrent with the movie being made, the monolith's signal was sent from the moon to Saturn, and that is where the Discovery mission was headed. However, it was changed to Jupiter in the movie because Kubrick wasn't happy with the Saturn special effects. In the book's sequels, Arthur C. Clarke carried forward with Jupiter in order to match the movie.

==============

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 02:35 PM

13. yea Wonderful, Bernie's gonna get help from our "visitors", who will help us fix Global Warming.

w/o Bernie they'll be convinced that we aint worth saving

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:38 PM

5. I'm recommending everyone remain indoors

I've seen SF movies and read big-concept SF novels that begin like this.
Things almost never turn out well for us in them.
Still, I'm going to continue planning for retirement you just never know.

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Response to the_chinuk (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 01:34 PM

11. Good plan

It's always good to plan ahead even if you're not sure there's a ahead!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:52 PM

6. Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:56 PM

7. Sorry but I'm waiting for Rush's take

I don't trust that liberal NASA and their stupid announcements. It's probably another plot to push the global warming hoax down our throats. And ripples in the rings? Is that all!? Call me when a face appears or the planet turns silver or something really interesting.

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Response to Ratty (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 12:59 PM

9. Beat me to it!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 01:14 PM

10. Insert Uranus Joke Here.

 

No, not "here"... over there -->

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Response to MindfulOne (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 01:39 PM

12. Hah!

In Rushs case its Hisanus since that's where his head usually is.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 03:27 PM

14. Weird wild stuff!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 03:46 PM

15. Still long way to go.

" It's still pretty primitive, because we can only detect some of Saturn's operations"

I think almost nothing.

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