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New Ring Around Saturn

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the radiation-may-be-hazardous-to-your-health dept.

Space 38

The Fun Guy writes "From the New York Times: 'In its first month orbiting Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft has detected a new radiation belt in an unexpected place, its invisible swarm of trapped high-energy particles circling the planet inside the inner edge of Saturn's signature disk of luminous rings.' Cassini has also seen 'a striking glow emanating day and night from the planet's largest moon, Titan.' A moon that shines with unborrowed light!"

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Not a ring (3, Informative)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9902583)

The rings are icy chunks of matter. Radiation is not. Technically, it's not a ring.

Re:Not a ring (1)

JVert (578547) | about 10 years ago | (#9902650)

What does it matter?

Re:Not a ring (2, Insightful)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9903231)

It matters because a lot of people are not knowlegable about astronomy, but have a lot of curiosity. They rely on little articles they read here and there for their information, including headlines they read on Slashdot. Misinformation doesn't do anyone any good.

It also matters because astronomy is to a large extent funded by public money. The people paying the bills for mega telescopes and space missions deserve to know the truth about the discoveries that they pay for.

Re:Not a ring (1)

snake_dad (311844) | about 10 years ago | (#9904242)

I've also heard that a lot of people are not very knowledgeable about humor [dict.org] . Not that it matters.. :)

I fully agree with what you said though. Just funny how you took the bait :p

Re:Not a ring (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9905779)

Funny how I took the bait? It was a perfect set-up to explain something about astronomy. Quite a useful troll indeed!

Re:Not a ring (1)

JVert (578547) | about 10 years ago | (#9907534)

bla bla HAND.

Re:Not a ring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9903242)

Oh? Jayce would beg to differ.

Ring of Light, Magic Might!

WHEEEELED WAAAAAARRRIIIIIIOOOOORRRRSS!!!!

Re:Not a ring (1)

CanSpice (300894) | about 10 years ago | (#9903414)

Oh really? Where does it say that rings have to be made of matter? It is entirely conceivable that ring can be used as a synonym for belt, particularly in this instance. Sure, radiation belts are typically called "belts" but there's no reason why they can't be called "rings".

You might as well be a pedant and say that because they're not made of gold and don't have diamonds in them and they don't fit on your finger and they're not solid the things around Saturn aren't rings. Technically they're a loose conglomerate of chunks of matter orbiting a planet at a lower altitude than that planet's Roche limit, but that's a bit of a mouthful.

Re:Not a ring (5, Insightful)

DustMagnet (453493) | about 10 years ago | (#9903493)

It is entirely conceivable that ring can be used as a synonym for belt, particularly in this instance. Sure, radiation belts are typically called "belts" but there's no reason why they can't be called "rings".

There's a very good reason one is call rings and one is called belts. Look at the picture [nytimes.com] . Sure it's possible to have a radiation ring and a rock/ice belt, but that doesn't change the fact that a radiation belt was found.

Re:Not a ring (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | about 10 years ago | (#9917933)

If this is the case, then how do you explain the kuiper belt?

Re:Not a ring (2, Funny)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9903952)

It confuses newbies, that's why. It also confuses non-newbies, because the rings of Saturn always in the past have referred to the icy chunks. Always in the past, radiation toroids have been called belts.

I may as well be a pendant, you say, but I am in the habit of having people understand what I write because conventions of meaning and usage are followed. Otherwise the situation is thy nacturations are to me! As plurdled abbleblotchits
on a lurgid bee.

See?

Re:Not a ring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9906666)

Otherwise the situation is thy nacturations are to me! As plurdled abbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.

Wow - that's Vogon poetry at its finest!

Nice to see someone scouting out the area before work begins on the new hyperspace bypass...

Re:Not a ring (1)

xoboots (683791) | about 10 years ago | (#9903929)

Uhh, a ring is simply a topological structure. That means it is mathematical in nature--a geometrical construction. It has nothing to do with matter or energy each of which may take on such a geometry. Indeed, there is quite a debate in the physical sciences as to what "matter" really is--because at a deep enough level, everything looks like energy events. Whatever "reality" is, it certainly isn't what you tell me it is.

Re:Not a ring (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9903974)

See my other response to someone else pointing out the same thing. Rings on Saturn always refer to icy chunks. Radiation is always referred to as a belt.

Or are you arguing that my coffee cup is a ring? And then could I point out that one of the very least useful of all mathematical branches is topology? (at least for now...)

Re:Not a ring (1)

Ckwop (707653) | about 10 years ago | (#9907849)

Or are you arguing that my coffee cup is a ring? And then could I point out that one of the very least useful of all mathematical branches is topology? (at least for now...)

Flaimbait but i'll bite, Who cares if some mathematics a use? Does a painting have a use? Isn't beauty utility enough?

Simon.

Re:Not a ring (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | about 10 years ago | (#9916009)

Not flamebait. Some have moderated me as such, but nothing was flamebait here.

Beauty is a terrific justification for something. Topology is beautiful. Usefulness is also a terrific justification for something. Topology isn't very useful.

The relation is not transitive. That means that it is not logical to claim that I think that beautiful things aren't useful.

Also, beauty is a different quality than usefulness, but I think you already know that.

It could be worse... (4, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | about 10 years ago | (#9902594)

There could be a new ring around Uranus.

Re:It could be worse... (1)

NorthernMinx (600563) | about 10 years ago | (#9902753)

[-- Insert Various Probing Jokes Here --]

Worse news. (1)

bluethundr (562578) | about 10 years ago | (#9902765)

There could be a new ring around Uranus.

Klingons could be orbiting it. May transport hemorrhoidian agents to pollute the climate.

Re:Worse news. (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 10 years ago | (#9917809)

Actually your quote should be attributed to Diebold CEO Wally O'Dell, not Michael Dell of Dell Computer.

It could be worse (still)... (1)

hal9000 (80652) | about 10 years ago | (#9903015)

and it burns burns burns, the ring of fire

Re:It could be worse... (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | about 10 years ago | (#9903571)

There could be a new ring around Uranus.

A ring of Klingons, of course.

Re:It could be worse... (2, Funny)

flewp (458359) | about 10 years ago | (#9904017)

Didn't you hear? They changed the name of it to avoid all those bad puns. It's now called urectum.

/butchered joke, but I don't remember exactly how it went.

Re:It could be worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9910290)

From the Futurama episode "A Big Piece of Garbage" (First series, I believe)

Re:It could be worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9905960)

HA HA HA,

that's funny because it sounds like you said "YOUR ANUS"

lololol

coincedence? (2, Funny)

Fo0eY (546716) | about 10 years ago | (#9902667)

so, are we just supposed to believe it's a coincedence that not only does saturn have the deathstar for a moon [universetoday.com] , now it has another moon that glows in the dark?

here's hoping my tinfoil hat blocks whatever evil alien radiation Titan's broadcasting

About the Glowing Moon (5, Interesting)

Cabriel (803429) | about 10 years ago | (#9903504)

Space.com has a free article which deals in part with Titan's glowing nature. The last four paragraphs, specifically: Click Here [space.com]

Re:coincedence? (1)

SnoBall (778388) | about 10 years ago | (#9908224)

Why not just make a tinfoil planet and send it to saturn, it'd be just as geeky/nerdy/insert something here, etc.

We know nothing (4, Insightful)

numLocked (801188) | about 10 years ago | (#9902676)

I think this is one of the most exciting missions NASA has done in a quite some time. Articles like this really remind us that we have no idea what's going on and that there's a whole lot out there we haven't seen. Exploration is something else. I think what NASA really needs is some better marketing so people who aren't paying attention to these types of missions are drawn in. People love exploration - they just don't realize it's going on.

Collect Radiation-- Become Immortal! (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | about 10 years ago | (#9902941)

Sound liek this would spur the space race, well to Saturn anyways... I wonder if living on Titan would make you younger as long as you could survive breathing Methane.

Sounds like a bad Star Trek movie.....

In other news - Intense lightning (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about 10 years ago | (#9903550)

Apparently, there are short lived storms that create much more intense lightning than has ever been seen on the third rock.

Just try to imagine living on Titan (2, Interesting)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 10 years ago | (#9903768)

Rarely seeing space because of the thick clouds. The sky lit up for extended periods with lightning. Every so often the clouds clear and what do you see: a f**king gigantic banded sphere dominating the beyond with beautiful stripy rings sweeping from one side of the sky to the other. Then the clouds close again as more hydrocarbons rain down onto the slowly undulating ocean waves. A slimy tentacle emerges from the sea onto the beach...

Re:Just try to imagine living on Titan (1)

Alsee (515537) | about 10 years ago | (#9907932)

Just try to imagine living on Titan

Don't forget the asphixiating lack of oxygen and cold so intense it can shatter your eyeballs faster than a blink!

On the bright side, no one will notice if you fart! Though on the other hand the entire atmosphere *is* one gigantic fart.

-

Re:Just try to imagine living on Titan (1)

robochan (706488) | about 10 years ago | (#9914401)

Then the clouds close again as more hydrocarbons rain down onto the slowly undulating ocean waves. A slimy tentacle emerges from the sea onto the beach...

You have been eaten by a grue.

You know what this means? (1)

displague (4438) | about 10 years ago | (#9903772)

I, for one, welcome our new Titan overlords.

Latest News. (2, Informative)

noselasd (594905) | about 10 years ago | (#9903808)

people interrested in space news should subscribe
to sci.space.news, Latest report from Cassini;

Subject: Cassini Update - August 6, 2004
From: baalke@earthlink.net (Ron)
Newsgroups: sci.space.news
Followup-To: sci.space.policy
Date: 6 Aug 2004 10:59:56 -0700

Cassini Significant Events
for 07/30/04 - 08/04/04

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Goldstone
tracking station on Wednesday, August 4. The Cassini spacecraft is in an
excellent state of health and is operating normally. Information on the
present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the
"Present Position" web page located at
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present- posi tion.cfm .

The S02 background sequence concluded with the execution of a Reaction Wheel
Assembly bias activity. S03 began execution on Friday July 30. Initial
activities included the loading of Instrument Expanded Block files, and
uplink of Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) flight software (FSW) version 9.2.4.
The CDA FSW checkout is scheduled for mid August.

Science activities this week mostly centered on Saturn observations. The
Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS) instruments began a campaign to
study the influence of the solar wind on Saturn's aurora, while Optical
Remote Sensing (ORS) instruments observed Saturn's south pole and aurora. In
addition, the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument observed
Saturn's kilometric radio emissions. RPWS team members also gave a
presentation to the flight team recapping science results that had been
presented at last month's Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) meeting in
Paris, France. Besides Saturn observations, the Imaging Science Subsystem
(ISS) observed the trailing side of Iapetus, which will only be seen on a
few occasions during tour.

In the last week, 747 ISS images arrived and were distributed. So far since
Approach Science began, 15896 ISS images and 4614 Visual and Infrared
Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) cubes have been returned.

In preparation for the Huygens Probe mission early next year, the Spacecraft
Operations Office (SCO) Integrated Test Lab has completed ten probe relay
fault case tests. Eight tests passed completely. One of the failed cases
was an incorrect fault injection and will be repeated at a later date. The
second failed case is currently being reviewed.

A project briefing was held as part of the Science Operations Plan update
process for S05. This process will complete on Friday, August 6 and a
handoff package presented to the leads for the Science and Sequence Update
Process.

Assessment meetings were held to review all of the requested changes to the
S08 and S09 sequences as part of the Aftermarket process. It appears that
all requested changes will fit within available resources. The Target
Working Teams and Orbiter Science Teams will be reviewing the requests over
the next two weeks and will provide their recommendations at the decision
meeting for S08 scheduled for August 13 and for S09 on August 17.

Development of S04 continued this week. A Preliminary Sequence Integration
and Validation (PSIV) Science Allocation Panel (SAP) Meeting, Simulation
Coordination meeting, and Simulation Procedure Review meeting were held.
The simulation meetings were to coordinate testing of a first time use of
Inertial Vector Definition in a Radio Science boresight calibration
activity.

The Navigation team reported that the post solar conjunction separation
angle is currently about 20 degrees. Tracking data quality has improved
significantly.

The Multi Mission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) is performing
certification testing of the Solaris 9 upgrades authorized by the Project as
a part of the MIPL D32 delivery.

A delivery coordination meeting was held for the Attitude Control Subsystem
C-Kernel generation Tool (ACKT) Version 2.0. This Java application queries
the Cassini telemetry database for ACS attitude and rate telemetry from
which it builds a C-Kernel (CK). The CK will be stored locally in the work
directory and can then be published to the file repository.

The Mission Support and Services Office delivered and installed Version
1.3.1 of the electronic command request form (eCRF).

All teams and offices supported the Cassini NASA Quarterly Review.

A presentation on Phoebe science was given to the flight team this week.
Both RADAR and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph teams presented their most
recent findings.

For the most recent Cassini press releases and images go to
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European
Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a
division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the
Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington,
D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.

I for one .... (1)

Xypheri (605751) | about 10 years ago | (#9903982)

Accept our new Glowing Moon Overlords!

Dammit! (3, Funny)

new death barbie (240326) | about 10 years ago | (#9905937)

The last one off Titan was supposed to turn off the light!
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