Another view of the jet in Saturn’s F ring

The jets in Saturn’s F ring are thought by scientists to be caused by the ring’s particles interacting with small moons orbiting nearby.

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.

View larger. | Jet in Saturn's F ring. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

View larger. | Jet in Saturn’s F ring, seen by Cassini spacecraft. This view looks toward the unilluminated side of Saturn’s rings from about 45 degrees below the ring plane. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

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

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