Images the Saturn’s key rings, the F Ring, and its shepherd moons acquired by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The narrow F Ring is located just external of the external edge the the key rings. 2 satellites sandwiching the F Ring slightly over and to the left the the centre of the picture are the shepherd satellites Prometheus (inner orbit) and also Pandora (outer orbit). Picture credit: NASA / Kobe University.Ryuki Hyodo, a second-year phd student, and Professor Keiji Ohtsuki that the Graduate institution of science at Kobe University have revealed the Saturn’s F Ring and its shepherd satellites space a organic outcome of the final stage of formation of Saturn’s satellite system. Your finding has actually just been published online in Nature Geoscience.

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Appearing favor eyes on a potato, craters sheathe the dimly lit surface of the moon Prometheus, one of the shepherd moons for Saturn’s F Ring, in this high-resolution picture from Cassini’s at an early stage 2010 flyby. This watch looks toward the trailing hemisphere the Prometheus which measures 136 × 79 × 59 kilometer (85 x 49 x 37 miles). Photo credit: NASA / JPL / room Science Institute.Saturn, i m sorry is the second largest planet in our solar system, is recognized to have actually multiple rings and also satellites. In 1979, Pioneer 11 found the F Ring, located 3,000 kilometres (1900 miles) past the outer edge that the A Ring. The F Ring is an extremely active, v features transforming on a timescale of hours.

The F Ring is also an extremely narrow with a width of just a couple of hundred kilometres, and also has two shepherd satellites referred to as Prometheus and also Pandora, i m sorry orbit inside and also outside the ring, respectively. Although the Voyager and also Cassini spacecraft later made detailed observations that the F Ring and its shepherd satellites, your origin has not to be clarified.

According to the latest satellite development theory, Saturn provided to have ancient rings comprise many an ext particles 보다 they perform today, and satellites formed from spreading and also accretion of this particles. Throughout the final stage the satellite formation, multiple little satellites tend to kind near the outer edge that the ring. On the various other hand, observations by Cassini show that the tiny satellites orbiting near the outer edge the the main ring system have actually a dense core.

While within shepherd moon Prometheus contributes to the confinement the Saturn’s small F Ring, outer shepherd moon Pandora dram a lesser role. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft got infrared, green and ultraviolet photos of Pandora in ~ a distance of roughly 52,000 kilometer (32,000 miles) ~ above 5 September 2005, i m sorry were an unified to produce this false-colour view. Pandora actions 104 × 81 × 64 kilometres (65 x 50 x 40 miles). Image credit: PD-USGOV-NASA.In their simulations using in part computer systems at the National huge Observatory of Japan, Hyodo and also Ohtsuki revealed the the F Ring and also its shepherd satellites formed as these tiny satellites with a thick core collided and partially disintegrated. In various other words, the system of the F Ring and also its shepherd satellites is a herbal outcome of the formation procedure of Saturn’s ring-satellite system.

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This new finding is expected to assist elucidate the development of satellite equipment both within and also outside our solar system. Because that example, the over formation mechanism can likewise be used to the rings and shepherd satellites the Uranus, i beg your pardon are similar to those of Saturn.

In this computer system simulation, 2 satellites with thick cores collide at the present location of the F Ring. The collision does not ruin the cores, which become two shepherd satellites, and also the spread particles dispersed in between the two satellites form the F Ring. Photo credit: Hyodo / Ohtsuki / Kobe University.Hyodo, currently visiting Institut de Physique du world de Paris because that his study from this feather (April 2015) remarked, “Through this study, us were may be to present that the present rings that Saturn reflect the formation and also evolution processes of the planet’s satellite system.”

“As plans are underway in and also outside of Japan to discover the satellite system of Jupiter and the satellites the Mars,” said Ohtsuki, “we will continue to clear the origin of satellite systems, which is key to understanding the formation process of planetary systems.”