Waves in Saturn’s Rings

Waves in Saturn's Rings

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Image FDS 43993.50 captured a closeup of a pair of waves at the 5:3 resonance with the moon Mimas. The inner wave (right) is a spiral bending wave, made of vertical oscillations in the rings. It is visible because the peaks cast shadows over the troughs. The outer wave (left) is a spiral density wave, in which particles are bunched together in a spiral pattern. The distance between the two waves is about 400 km.

Image Note: Image courtesy of Mark Showalter