Tuesday, October 06, 2009
New Large Ring Discovered Around Saturn
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered an enormous ring around Saturn — by far the largest of the giant planet's many rings. The new belt lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system, with an orbit tilted 27 degrees from the main ring plane. The bulk of its material starts about six million kilometers (3.7 million miles) away from the planet and extends outward roughly another 12 million kilometers (7.4 million miles). One of Saturn's farthest moons, Phoebe, circles within the newfound ring, and is likely the source of its material. More from NASA JPL, the BBC, The New Scientist, and Science News.