Cassini at Saturn. Huygens Results by David M. Harland

By David M. Harland

Whilst pacecraft flew throughout the Saturian procedure within the years 1979, 1980 and 1981, the consequences have been astronishing. The satellits have been ultimately proven to be miniature worlds in there personal correct.

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For Saturn, this radius is 146,000 kilometres, and as the outer edge of the `A' ring is 136,000 kilometres the entire structure is therefore within the critical radius. F. Encke of the Berlin Observatory perceived a division in the `A' ring. 18 Saturn from afar Roche's study assumed that the two bodies had similar composition and density. 69 g/cm3, the result implied that the rings could not be a coherent fluid structure. Roche's conclusion was that the ring system formed when a satellite spiralled in too close to the planet and was disrupted, which was reminiscent of the myth of Kronos devouring his offspring.

A. '' Saturn, being less massive, was thought to be at an `earlier' stage of development. '' In fact, the giant planets were regarded as `failed' stars. ``Over a region of hundreds of thousands of square miles in extent, the flowing surface of the planet must be torn by sub-planetary forces. M. Clerke wrote in History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century: ``the chief arguments in favour of the high temperature of Jupiter apply, with increased force, to Saturn, so that it may be concluded, without much risk of error, that a large proportion of the bulky globe .

Keeler, visiting, sneaked a preview to test the optics, and was delighted to find a narrow division near the outer edge of the `A' ring. Although referred to in America as `Keeler's Gap', this actually marked the return of Encke's Division, which had been absent for some time. The asteroidal `zones of avoidance' analogy reinforced Maxwell's assertion that Saturn's rings are composed of a myriad of particles. E. Keeler tested the Lick Observatory's 36-inch refractor on Saturn, and resolved a very thin division near the outer edge of the `A' ring.

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