Cassini spies mysterious object named íPeggyí at edge of Saturnís rings
2013-12-12 0:00

By Adam Mann | Wired



Nasaís Cassini spacecraft has spotted an object located right at the edge of Saturnís A ring that is confounding scientists. Its name? Peggy.

This strange something was spotted by accident on 15 April when Cassiniís cameras were aimed at a tiny moon named Prometheus that orbits just inside another of Saturnís rings. A member of the missionís imaging team, astronomer Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London, noticed an odd kink at the A ringís edge that jutted outward.

"Iíd not seen anything like this personally in the A ring," he said during a talk today here at the 2013 American Geophysical Union conference.

Because he was analysing the images on 19 April, the same day as his mother-in-lawís 80th birthday, Murray named the mystery object after her. Peggy (the object) appears to be about 1 kilometer in diameter, much too small to be a moon or even moonlet, which are generally at least 10 times bigger. Cassiniís cameras can only see down to about 10 km, so Peggy is only known by the interference it causes.

"What he sees is a disturbance in the rings," said physicist Matthew Headman from the University of Idaho, also a member of Cassiniís imaging team but who was not involved in Murrayís work.

Nobody knows exactly what Peggy is.

[...]

Read the full article at: wired.co.uk




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