PIA14942: A Race Around Saturn (Animation)

A Race Around Saturn (Animation)


Click here for animation of PIA14942
Click on the image for the animation

This animation depicts the shearing of an initially circular cloud of debris as a result of the particles in the cloud having differing orbital speeds around Saturn. After the cloud is formed, each particle within it follows its own simple orbit. The cloud begins to elongate as particles closer to the planet orbit at a faster speed than the particles farther from the planet. Scientists can use the angle the cloud was canted to infer the time elapsed since it was formed. This method was used to determine the times of the impacts that created the clouds in Saturn's rings that were captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft (see PIA14938 for more information).

A still version of this graphic can be seen at PIA14942 .

For more information on clouds of ejected material see PIA11675 .

Background Info:

For more information on Cassini, visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Saturn Rings
System Saturn
Target Type Planet Ring
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Movie
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-04-25
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/Cornell
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14942
Identifier PIA14942