Saturday, 1 August 2015

SPACE How did Saturn Moon Tethys get Those Weird Stripes?

NASA’s Cassini mission has been orbiting Saturn for over a decade, so you’d be forgiven in thinking that it’s seen just about every weird feature on the ringed gas giant and its fascinating system of moons. But in new observations beamed back from Cassini, icy moon Tethys has only now decided to show off its mysterious stripes. ANALYSIS: Moon Tethys ‘Hangs’ Off Saturn’s Rings Using clear, green, infrared and ultraviolet spectral filters, during a flyby in April, Cassini’s cameras were able to create a color-enhanced view of the 660 mile (1,060 kilometer) wide ice-encrusted moon. And that’s when mission scientists saw them — long stripes of red discoloration arcing across the surface. Although stripes that appeared slightly red have been spotted in previous flybys, the angle between the Saturnian system, the sun and Cassini has not been ideal. But as Saturn’s northern hemisphere has been entering summer these past few years, the northern stripes on Tethys have gradually come into view and now Cassini has recorded vivid red features that at first appear to be fairly young on geological timescales.READ MORE -

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