Two waves in Saturnís rings

Two waves in Saturnís rings

Fig. 10.15 . Gaps and wave-like concentrations in ring particles are due to the gravitational influence of Saturnís moons. A small, nearby moon orbiting at varying distance from Saturnís rings is thought to produce waves of density, causing the ring particles to bunch together and disperse like the crests and troughs of ocean waves (bottom left). The gravity of a nearby moon can also produce a vertical wave in the ring particles, known as a bending wave (upper right). This image, which spans about 220 kilometers, was taken from the Cassini spacecraft on 29 October 2004. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI.),

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University