Jun 09, 2010
The secret of Saturn's rings
Numerical simulations show new moons forming now from the rings

Numerical simulations peformed by a group of astrophysicists of the  AIM-CEA Saclay Laboratory  (University Paris Diderot, CEA, CNRS) and the Nice observatory, based on images collected by the Cassini mission, show that some tiny moons of Saturn are still forming now from material of the Saturn's rings, some billion years after the  end of the formation of planets and satellites inside the Solar system. The simulations can also give some clues about the formation of the Earth's moon. These results are published in the June 10th issue of the Nature magazine



Animation showing the location of the tiny moons of Saturn and the mecanism by which these small satellites can form from the material of the rings, as reproduced by numerical simulations. Copyrights Animation Frédéric Durillon (animea.com)- Images : Cassini NASA/JPL/SSI


for more information, see the French version


Contact :  (CEA-AIM)

Publication :

« Recent origin of Saturn’s moonlets and F-ring from rings viscous spreading»
Sébastien CHARNOZ, Julien SALMON, Aurélien CRID, Nature vol. 465, 10 juin 2010, for an electronic version   PDF file
(1) AIM laboratory, Universitey Paris Diderot /CEA/CNRS, (2) University of Cambridge (UK) et Laboratoire Cassiopée, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur

see : the CEA-CNRS-Univ Paris-Diderot press release

see also                   : - "Soucoupes volantes autour de Saturne"  (7 décembre 2007, in French)
                              : - "Spirale dans les anneaux de Saturne" (24 novembre 2005, in French)



Text : Sébastien Charnoz, Stéphane Laveissière, Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud

#2837 - Last update : 06/10 2010


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