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The Raviolimoons of Saturn : So light and porous as cork

The space probe "Cassini" was examined at the end of their Mission, five unusual, small moons of the ringed planet Saturn, which are as light as cork. The rec

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The Raviolimoons of Saturn : So light and porous as cork

The space probe "Cassini" was examined at the end of their Mission, five unusual, small moons of the ringed planet Saturn, which are as light as cork. The recordings show different part of unexpected features of small satellites, which in contrast to most of the 62 known moons of Saturn in the vicinity of the famous rings in their orbits. An international Team presents the investigations of the five Mini-moons in the U.S. journal "Science".

Cosmic "Ravioli": Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Epimetheus

The Saturn probe, the US space Agency Nasa had approached in the last Phase of their Mission, the majestic rings of the gas giants, and finally was immersed, even through it between you and the planet. A total of six Flybys between December 2016 and April 2017, the Chance of the five moons, Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Epimetheus from a previously unattained near the bot to investigate.

Cassini has sent pictures of the five of Saturn's moons: Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Epimetheus. You are in the outer...photos: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The small satellites with diameters of between 8 and 120 kilometers, and appear to be very porous. Their average Densities to be 640 kilograms per cubic meter comparable to that of cork, according to the göttingen Max-Planck-Institute for solar system research, that was involved in the investigation leader. In particular, three of these moons are bizarre worlds, says the Institute in a release: "With their bead-like thickenings along the Equator, Pan, Daphnis, and Atlas in a way reminiscent of the cosmic Ravioli."

moons with bacon wrinkles

The equator of the three moons bead is pronounced very differently: Whereas in the case of Daphnis, only one percent of the total volume, Pan, ten percent, and in the case of Atlas even 25 percent. The researchers explain the formation of the beads so that after the loose Material had deposited from the rings of Saturn to the moon äquatoren. The significantly smoother surface of the beads speak craters with less Impact of the leave on a geologically younger age close.

Interestingly, the surfaces of the five small moons all the more redder, the closer you are circles around the Saturn. The scientists suspect that, the coloring goes back to the organic and iron Compounds in the material of the ring rich, on the moons has been deposited. On the appearance of the small moons water ice that will be thrown by the much larger Saturn's moon Enceladus from Eisvulkanen to All beat however is becoming increasingly difficult. The water ice crystals made for a rather bluish coloring.

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"Both of these processes act together to determine the appearance of the ring-moons, depending on their distance to Saturn," explained one of the main authors, Elias Roussos from the the göttingen Institute. Overall, the "Cassini"-measurements provided the most accurate picture of the five moons and their environment. Till Mundzeck (dpa)

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