NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory added this image of Saturn’s F ring, taken by the Cassini spacecraft, to its Photojournal yesterday (November 11, 2013). It’s another view of the mysterious jet in Saturn’s F ring, discovered by the Cassini spacecraft in an image acquired last June 20.
NASA says that, although this image appears to show one jet appearing to leap from the F ring, a closer inspection suggests a few smaller jets making up this feature. NASA says the several jets suggest a slightly more complex origin process than previously believed.
Overall, the jets are thought by scientists to be caused by the ring’s particles interacting with small moons orbiting nearby.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.