NASA Discovers New Ring Around Saturn

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NASA Discovers New Ring Around Saturn

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No doubt justifying all space-based budgetary expenditures for the next century, NASA scientists have discovered a new ring around Saturn.

The really bizarre bit is that though humanity has known of the ring-infested planet since prehistory (and its rings since at least the 17th century), this new ring is described by NASA as "by far the largest of the giant planet's many rings."

You'd really think something like that would be hard to miss.

Official deets from the red-faced space association:

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.

Saturn's newest halo is thick, too -- its vertical height is about 20 times the diameter of the planet. It would take about one billion Earths stacked together to fill the ring.

So what does this mean for humanity? Not much really, but you better believe certain other planets are jealous. Saturn gets all the shiny, fancy rings and Uranus just gets s#!* on!

(Yes, I've been waiting to type that all day.)

(Via Neatorama)

(Image)

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That's cool. Isn't there also a moon around Saturn that has a lot of water on it or something like that? I love space news! :)

See, me and SargentToughie were right, we warned you all, we told you that if we didn't act soon Saturn would get even more dangerous.

Now look, it's expanding, soon it will envelop the galaxy. /Toughie Clan

In all seriousness, this is interesting if Saturn can have giant almost invisible rings maybe other planets can. Imagine if we one day discovered that Earth had rings?

Interesting. It's sorta odd to have a ring that deviates from the main ring section, but it's a sort of nice change. When I saw the topic title, I was expecting something like, 'oh, they're just sorting out the existing ring sections into even smaller sections in order to account for the new moon, Bladderpus' or something like that. I'm glad that it's something NEW.

VanityGirl:
That's cool. Isn't there also a moon around Saturn that has a lot of water on it or something like that? I love space news! :)

Yes, they're saying that Enceladus has water. They saw geysers near the south pole of the moon. That makes it one of the top candidates for life, along with Jupiter's moon Europa, and one of Saturn's other moons, Titan.

TheGhostOfSin:
In all seriousness, this is interesting if Saturn can have giant almost invisible rings maybe other planets can. Imagine if we one day discovered that Earth had rings?

Of course Earth will have rings. Ours will just be made from space junk and scrap metal. :)

You'd really think something like that would be hard to miss.

Well, duh, it's only visible in the infrared spectrum. No one bothered to point a camera that can detect it in the direction of Saturn until now, most of them are pointed at the sun or other stars.

TheGhostOfSin:

In all seriousness, this is interesting if Saturn can have giant almost invisible rings maybe other planets can. Imagine if we one day discovered that Earth had rings?

If we one day discover that Earth has rings, it'll be the rings of all the space trash that fly around in orbit.

Earnest Cavalli:
Saturn gets all the shiny, fancy rings and Uranus just gets s#!* on!

Uranus gets no lovin' at all.

Saturn is truly the gold digger of the solar system, how many rings will it feel. Just because it can fit in the tight belts it thinks its better than Jupitar.

OT: Who cares? Honestly? Hopefully NASA didn't spend any money to research this and acted on suggestions of star-gazing hobbiests.

Wow, a new ring wooooooo...how exciting.

Hmm... I guess if there were a competition between all the planets then Saturn would... run rings around the opposition. ^_^

New ring? Don't ya guys see? Saturn just got engaged. I'm betting the blushing bride to be is his fifth moon. Should check to see if she has a ring.

/Astrology Humor

Awesome! That is.. awesome.. Uh.. yeah..

i had read about this yesterday, it's pretty cool, it's planets like that that allow us to live and keep the big bad asteroids away from us

Earnest Cavalli:
this new ring is described by NASA as "by far the largest of the giant planet's many rings."

You'd really think something like that would be hard to miss.

So how does this justify giving them a bigger budget?

I honestly can't see how they would play this...I mean not only does this discovery not really yield anything (like you care about one more ring), but it kinda says these guys are a bit incompetent to only notice this now!

Well it makes sence that the larger ring would be "invisible". Generally once you get to a certain degree in size it actualy becomes harder to see because the mind of the viewer will interperit it as something completely differant. Only when you change your perspective by means of pulling back in distance, change angle, etc..

As an example with crop circles from the ground, in the the field you will just see some paths but when you pull back to a sky view you see the pattern made in the corn field.

And this relates to gaming how?

Aha! My favorite Planet just got better!

I showed my Grandmother this article and she was amazed.

oneplus999:
And this relates to gaming how?

Doesn't have to, if it's cool, it's newsworthy. And this is definitely cool.

Thats pretty neat and interesting.

Sephiwind:
Well it makes sence that the larger ring would be "invisible". Generally once you get to a certain degree in size it actualy becomes harder to see because the mind of the viewer will interperit it as something completely differant. Only when you change your perspective by means of pulling back in distance, change angle, etc..

As an example with crop circles from the ground, in the the field you will just see some paths but when you pull back to a sky view you see the pattern made in the corn field.

Another example is the Earth being round. When you're standing on Earth it seems like a flat plane, and yet when you get into space it's a sphere. Of course it was already pretty much proven the world was round centuries we got into space, but still.

As to what this means, well it might for one explain why one of Saturn's moons orbits in the opposite direction from all the others, and thus solving another astronomical mystery. If nothing else it's at least helping us understand the universe.

A new ring?

They are counting them?

That is what they are blowing money on now?

Cut their funding already.

oneplus999:
And this relates to gaming how?

You've been here that long and you've never seen the non-gaming news articles they put out? Wow...

This is pretty interesting, though I'm sure all of them are pretty embarassed about missing this thing. It's like sitting in a room and then twenty minutes later realizing there's a literal elephant in the room.

nasa fail? or maybe humanity fail? how did we miss something that big that close? i mean damn we found pluto how did we miss something hundreds of times bigger several times closer?

That fact has changed my entire life.

This is a sign that we are supposed to destroy Saturn. Who knows what else that lying scumbag is hiding from us? I'm not going to wait till it gets the upper hand and invades.

This is pretty sweet. Maybe we missed it because of how it looks before we had the technology we have today - might be huge, but less visible (less dense, less pretty, whatever...)

But either way, we found it now. Now we have to go to it.

Dark Templar:
A new ring?

They are counting them?

That is what they are blowing money on now?

Cut their funding already.

I'm sure you thought you sounded like the smartest man in the room when you said this buuuuuut...

AceDiamond:

Dark Templar:
A new ring?

They are counting them?

That is what they are blowing money on now?

Cut their funding already.

I'm sure you thought you sounded like the smartest man in the room when you said this buuuuuut...

Unlike most of the internet, I am well aware that not everthing I say is profound.:P

But still, NASA gets alot of money that could be better spent on education an stuff.

Who the fuck cares about Saturn when our education system is to fucked to teach anyone well enough to be an astronaut?

Hmm, interesting. The article claims that the ring probably consists of ice crystals shed by Phoebe. If so, that implies some interesting possibilities. Even if the crystals are indeed microscopic or nearly so, there's still a huge amount of ice in that ring, meaning that Phoebe was probably at least a fair bit larger in the past. Add to that its eccentric orbit, and that points to Phoebe being most probably a very big comet snatched up by Saturn's gravwell, or maybe even a small ice planet(oid) from the early days of the solar system. Fascinating stuff.

Oh, and to all of you saying "big deal, why are we paying for this crap": Yeah, let's stop funding the advancement of knowledge. Let's disassemble all those telescopes and turn them into howitzers, then we can do something REALLY worthwhile. Who cares about science anyway? Progress is overrated! Of course you know what the world needs, why listen to scientists! What have they ever done for us? Yeah, there's some minor things. Stuff like fire, ships, medicine, airplanes, the Internet. Who needs all that stuff? The world would be a MUCH better place without scientists just being allowed to do research.

And those of you saying "they're stupid for not finding this before": I'd like to see you try, (expletive deleted).

(Jesus christ, I'm at a loss for words that won't get me suspended. This stuff really gets under my skin.)

Dark Templar:

AceDiamond:

Dark Templar:
A new ring?

They are counting them?

That is what they are blowing money on now?

Cut their funding already.

I'm sure you thought you sounded like the smartest man in the room when you said this buuuuuut...

Unlike most of the internet, I am well aware that not everthing I say is profound.:P

But still, NASA gets alot of money that could be better spent on education an stuff.

Who the fuck cares about Saturn when our education system is to fucked to teach anyone well enough to be an astronaut?

Well I guess you're right about the education system being fucked if you can't even be arsed to spell, "everything", "and", and "too" correctly. Also, "a lot" is two words.

It's not a question of "who gives a fuck about Saturn", it's a question of simply finding out what the telescope that discovered this was designed for. In this case the Spitzer Space Telescope was designed to take IR readings of outer space in order to be able to find out more about distant objects than was ever possible. In the process Spitzer has discovered not only possibly the youngest star yet recorded, but also (and I think this part is very important if we are to ever explore new worlds) it successfully mapped an extrasolar planet, essentially gathering data we'd never been able to get before on other planets outside our Solar System.

The point to all this? How else are we to understand how the universe works if we do not investigate it? Then again what do I know, I'm a product of the "fucked American education system" and yet I somehow still had enough foresight to spend 10 seconds typing in "Spitzer Space Telescope" into Wikipedia and 5 minutes reading up on it.

AceDiamond:

Dark Templar:

AceDiamond:

Dark Templar:
A new ring?

They are counting them?

That is what they are blowing money on now?

Cut their funding already.

I'm sure you thought you sounded like the smartest man in the room when you said this buuuuuut...

Unlike most of the internet, I am well aware that not everthing I say is profound.:P

But still, NASA gets alot of money that could be better spent on education an stuff.

Who the fuck cares about Saturn when our education system is to fucked to teach anyone well enough to be an astronaut?

Well I guess you're right about the education system being fucked if you can't even be arsed to spell, "everything", "and", and "too" correctly. Also, "a lot" is two words.

Dude, on the internet no one cares much about spelling.

Also, exploring new worlds is fine and all, but we have much more pressing issues to deal with right here at home before I'll ever consider NASA and most of its new protects to be anything more than a waste of money.

Outer space can wait until our economy and education is fixed.

Dark Templar:

Dude, on the internet no one cares much about spelling.

Also, exploring new worlds is fine and all, but we have much more pressing issues to deal with right here at home before I'll ever consider NASA and most of its new protects to be anything more than a waste of money.

Outer space can wait until our economy and education is fixed.

image
I'm not your dude, brah.

And for those saying "we have bigger problems at home" consider this. JFK wanted a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. You know what else was happening during the 1960s? Vietnam. The Cuban Missile Crisis. China's "Great Leap Forward". The Six Day War. The Cuban Missile Crisis is especially important because, if not for cooler heads prevailing, mankind could have wiped itself out in a nuclear war.

My point being that we exist in a time where the threat of nuclear annihilation and full-on world war is a lot less imminent than it was in the 1960s. I'm not saying that means we have no problems at all here, far from it, but to say that we should completely abandon our pursuit of the stars in the belief that it will somehow fix things is pure folly. Look at the International Space Station. It represents the fact that, despite everything, nations of the world can work together. And that is possibly the most important thing we can gain through space exploration. I know it's idealistic of me to say that but I'd rather have us try to move forward as a species and fail then to have never tried at all.

Also NASA's budget is pretty damn tiny these days so if anything they need more money. Apparently just $3 billion more a year will allow us to work towards renewed lunar operations. If not, at our current rate it'll be 2050 before we can do that.

AceDiamond:

Dark Templar:

Dude, on the internet no one cares much about spelling.

Also, exploring new worlds is fine and all, but we have much more pressing issues to deal with right here at home before I'll ever consider NASA and most of its new protects to be anything more than a waste of money.

Outer space can wait until our economy and education is fixed.

image
I'm not your dude, brah.

And for those saying "we have bigger problems at home" consider this. JFK wanted a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. You know what else was happening during the 1960s? Vietnam. The Cuban Missile Crisis. China's "Great Leap Forward". The Six Day War. The Cuban Missile Crisis is especially important because, if not for cooler heads prevailing, mankind could have wiped itself out in a nuclear war.

My point being that we exist in a time where the threat of nuclear annihilation and full-on world war is a lot less imminent than it was in the 1960s. I'm not saying that means we have no problems at all here, far from it, but to say that we should completely abandon our pursuit of the stars in the belief that it will somehow fix things is pure folly. Look at the International Space Station. It represents the fact that, despite everything, nations of the world can work together. And that is possibly the most important thing we can gain through space exploration. I know it's idealistic of me to say that but I'd rather have us try to move forward as a species and fail then to have never tried at all.

Abandoning it and thinking that will help is folly?

Just cut thier funding for awhile thats all, there are more practical things that can be done with the millions of dollars being spent on stupid crap like this.

Dark Templar:

Just cut thier funding for awhile thats all, there are more practical things that can be done with the millions of dollars being spent on stupid crap like this.

You're missing the point, which doesn't surprise me. I didn't say abandon the Earth. I said it's perfectly reasonable in this day and age to look to the stars while also dealing with our problems at home. Also it's really hard to cut funding to an agency that is already underfunded.

Steve Dark:
Hmm... I guess if there were a competition between all the planets then Saturn would... run rings around the opposition. ^_^

Ugh... It's impossible to talk about space without horrible puns! Don't make me reach through my computer and 'ring' your neck! (It may have been a stretch but it still works)

Amazingness! another ring! This tops everything everywhere forever! Screw a new president! This is da shitz

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