The left image is a false-color view of Saturn's A ring from the ultraviolet imaging spectrograph instrument aboard the Cassini spacecraft. The ring is bluest in the center, where the gravitational clumps are largest. The thickest black band in the ring is the Enke Gap, and the thin black band further to the right is the Keeler Gap. The right image is a computer simulation about 150 meters (490 feet) across, illustrating a clumpy region of particles in the A ring. The particles are moving counterclockwise, from bottom to top.
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Colorado
New observations from the Cassini spacecraft now at Saturn indicate the particles comprising one of its most prominent rings are trapped in ever-changing clusters of debris that are regularly torn apart and reassembled by gravitational forces from the planet.
The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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University of Colorado at Boulder. "New Observations Show Dynamic Particle Clumps In Saturn's A Ring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073435.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2005, September 6). New Observations Show Dynamic Particle Clumps In Saturn's A Ring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073435.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "New Observations Show Dynamic Particle Clumps In Saturn's A Ring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073435.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).