STATES CHRONICLE – Cassini spaceship captured the closest view of Daphnis, the moon of Saturn. The probe sent by NASA captured the most amazing images of Daphnis, the five-wide mile moon of Saturn. The moon performed what scientists may call ring grazing, passing right through Saturn’s rings. The newly taken pictures provide a close-up look of Saturn’s rings.
There have been observed some ring features while the spacecraft approached its final phase of its 20-year mission. Daphnis is situated in the Keeler Gap. This gap is known to be 50% wider compared to the Grand Canyon. The dust-free stripe located in the outermost ring of Saturn is thought to be kept clear due to the orbit of Daphnis around the giant planet.
Based on the data shared by NASA, thanks to Cassini’s unusual perspective, a radical effect determines Daphnis to appear as if it occupies most of the gap. Nevertheless, a top-down view may show that the dust-free band is actually five times wider than Daphnis.
The details in the captures unveil fantastic features like horizontal striations which circle the equator of Saturn’s moon which appear to be parallel to the rings of the giant planet. Researchers claim that these bands may indicate that the ring particles accumulate on the surface as the moon glides through the Keeler Gap.
Cassini is assumed to have captured the moon performing an act of dust disturbance because a faint twig seems to be following Daphnis, circling its lower left boundary. NASA presupposes that the gravity of the moon may have pushed this vague matter from its ring out into the Keeler Gap.
The gravitational disruption can be analyzed in the form of waves which explains the name of wavemaker. These waves encompass the lower boundary of the gap, reminding us that Saturn’s rings are not as they appear in pictures, like 2D disks. They are 3D celestial objects having their own internal movement and structure.
The gravity of Saturn’s moon unsettles the 30-foot-thick rings circling it in more ways than one. What is more, besides the horizontal waves which appear in the image, a previous photo taken in 2009 also reveals vertical ones. The one-mile high waves looked indirectly as shadows which were cast against the outer rings of the giant plant during its equinox.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia