Science & Exploration

Saturn’s 60th

20/07/2007 528 views 0 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / Cassini-Huygens

A team of scientists led by Carl Murray, from Queen Mary, University of London, recently discovered Saturn’s 60th moon.

"We detected the 60th moon orbiting Saturn using the Cassini spacecraft's powerful wide-angle camera," said Murray, a Cassini imaging team scientist. "I was looking at images of the region near the Saturnian moons Methone and Pallene and something caught my eye."

The newly discovered moon first appeared as a very faint dot in a series of images Cassini took of the Saturnian ring system on 30 May this year. After the initial detection, Murray and fellow Cassini imaging scientists played interplanetary detective, searching for clues of the new moon in the voluminous library of Cassini images to date.

Cassini scientists believe 'Frank' (the working name for the moon until another, perhaps more appropriate one, is found) is about 2 kilometres wide and, like so many of its neighbors, is made mostly of ice and rock. The moon's location in the Saturnian sky is between the orbits of Methone and Pallene.

It is the fifth moon discovered by the Cassini imaging team.

Read the full story on the NASA JPL website

Notes for editors:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency.

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