Science News

Curated by RSF Research Staff

Stunning close-up of Saturn’s moon, Pan, reveals a space empanada

The latest images from NASA’s Cassini probe reveal a very interestingly shaped moon with more of a disc like structure, resembling an empanada.

Saturn is known to have 53 moons and a further 9 possible moons which have been monitored by the Cassini probe for the last 12 years. The second innermost moon named Pan, orbits close to Saturn’s rings and has been dubbed the walnut due to its shape. The 35 km wide and 23 km high icy moon orbits in a gap within the rings, pulling matter from the rings, like an accretion disk around a black hole.

Studying the relationships between the dynamics and geometry of celestial bodies is key to advancements in unified physics, so it will be interesting to see what the research team find from an analysis of these images.

Article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/space-empanada-frozen-ridge-around-saturn-s-moon-pan-collected-planet-s-rings

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