Feeds

New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING

Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings

Seven Steps to Software Security

Boffins peering at images sent home by NASA's Cassini spacecraft think they may have spotted the first throes of a new moon coming into being.

Dubbed “Peggy”, the moonlet is probably a lump of ice. But astroboffin Carl Murray from Queen Mary University of London, lead author of a paper to be published in the journal Icarus, told NASA the lump looks to be breaking away from one of the planet's famous rings.

The picture below shows Peggy. We've circled her in red.

Peggy, a possible new Saturnian moon

Peggy: that little bright spot in the red circle might just be a new moon

Not impressed? Murray says Peggy is probably only 800 metres in diameter which makes it too small to see. But the mere fact there's a bright spot to see is unusual: Saturn's rings are usually very smooth. Boffins therefore think the bump and the extra light prove something is on the move.

Even if Peggy has indeed broken free to become a mini-moon (the snap above was captured on April 15th, 2013) it is not destined to float alone forever. Instead, Murray hypothesises that Saturn's rings may once have been rather larger but that over time a great many Peggy-like lumps have spun off before eventually bumping into each other to become the 60-plus moons the gas giant possesses. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.