To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united

Saturn Aurora

Without forces to hold the A ring in check, the ring would keep spreading out and ultimately disappear.

On October 16, the Cassini mission team revealed a series of new findings based on the data gathered by the spacecraft.

A team of Saturn moon keeps Saturn's A ring from spreading. However, a little over a month ago, the spacecraft took one last daring dive between the rings of the gas giant. This process was noted to be similar to the action of new and forming planets which clear out space for themselves in the dust rings around a star.

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NASA releases extraordinary images of Saturn Fri, September 15, 2017 NASA's Cassani mission have released these awesome unseen photos of Saturn and it's many moons. The day before Cassini died, said Cassini participating scientist Matt Tiscareno of the SETI Institute, the spacecraft captured images of all six propellers that it tracked during its mission: Blériot, Earhart, Santos-Dumont, Sikorsky, Post, and Quimby.

Cassini's Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) returned a host of data from Saturn's upper atmosphere during the grand finale - the phase before its death plunge.

The researchers made the discovery after crashing the NASA spacecraft Cassini into the planet's atmosphere. Dougherty says the sensitivity of Cassini's magnetic field measurements almost quadrupled over the course of the spacecraft's 22 Grand Finale orbits - meaning that, if the tilt of Saturn's field is greater than 0.016 degrees, researchers should be able to detect it. Scientists said if the magnetic field tilt is greater than 0.016 degrees, they should be able to "nail down the true length of the planet's day". The more detailed data could be a boon for researchers such as Michele Dougherty, leader of Cassini's magnetometer team from Imperial College London, who is trying to figure out the length of a day on Saturn. It turns out to be a group effort. Without Cassini there to provide further data, answers might he hard to come by. The inverse happens to the faster, inner particles. "Cassini provided detail on the mass of Saturn's moons and the physical characteristics of the rings, so mathematically speaking, we concluded that the moon Janus alone can not keep the rings from spreading out", said Radwan Tajeddine, a research associate in astronomy and lead author of the new research. "So mathematically speaking, we concluded that the moon Janus alone can not keep the rings from spreading out", said lead author of the new research Radwan Tajeddine from Cornell University in NY. Although scientists still have a lot more information to process, they believe to be closer to discovering some of the secrets behind Saturn's rings. Analysis of these data led Tajeddine and colleagues to an understanding that a cumulative effect of waves from all these moons damps the outward transfer of momentum in the A ring and confines its edge. "In a sense, the work has only just begun".

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