Moon Over Saturn: Rings Get More Bling

Cassini

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009  |  Updated 6:28 PM EDT
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Moon Over Saturn: Rings Get More Bling

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This sequence of three images, obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft over the course of about 10 minutes, shows the path of a newly found moonlet in a bright arc of Saturn's faint G ring.

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PASADENA, Calif. -- Scientists have found a new faint moon hidden in one of Saturn's dazzling outer rings.

The moon was spotted by the international Cassini spacecraft. It measures about a third of a mile wide.

The discovery was announced Tuesday in a notice by the International Astronomical Union.

Researchers have long puzzled over the formation of Saturn's G ring, one of the planet's more mysterious arcs. They now think the G ring was likely formed from icy debris that scattered when meteorites crash into the newfound moon.

Scientists confirmed the moon's existence last summer after analyzing images from Cassini. Saturn has over five dozen moons.

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