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TOPIC: 60 Saturn moons


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S/2007 S 4
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Sixty for Saturn


The 60th moon of Saturn reveals itself in a sequence of images. The discovery suggests that the new moon, along with its neighbors Methone and Pallene (discovered by the Cassini imaging team in 2004), may form part of a larger group of moons in this region. The movie spans six hours.

Initial calculations show the moon to have a width of approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), with an orbit that lies between those of the moons Methone and Pallene. The moon's orbit is in resonance with another moon, Mimas, also seen in this sequence as a very bright, moving object. The new moon's location is indicated by a red box.



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2007 S4
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The 60th moon of Saturn reveals itself in a sequence of images. The discovery suggests that the new moon, along with its neighbours Methone and Pallene (discovered by the Cassini imaging team in 2004), may form part of a larger group of moons in this region. The movie spans six hours.
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60 Saturn moons
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60th Moon of Saturn Discovered
The newfound moon orbits about 1.76 kilometres from Saturn

s2007_s4_e1
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Scientists from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission have announced the discovery of a new moon orbiting Saturn, bringing the total number of known moons in the Saturnian system to 60.

"It is amazing to think that when Cassini embarked upon its epic journey to Saturn in 1997, we only knew about 18 of its moons. Since then, through observations from ground based telescopes and the Cassini spacecraft, a further 42 have been identified!" - Professor Keith Mason, CEO of the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Affectionately known as Frank to the QMUL scientists that first identified it, the satellite is set to have a more fitting name assigned to it akin to its cousins Methone and Pallene - who are named after the Greek Alkyonides. This is a decision for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) the body responsible for officially naming planetary objects. So far only 48 of the 60 moons discovered have been given names. Frank has received the preliminary designation S/2007 S 4 by the IAU.

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S/2007 S4
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S/2007 S 4

S/ 2007 S 4 is a very small natural satellite of Saturn lying between the orbits of Mimas and Enceladus.
It was first seen by the Cassini Imaging Team[1] on May 30, 2007. Once the discovery was made, a search of older Cassini images revealed this small satellite in observations from as far back as June 2004.

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Tethys and Dione
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Saturns moons Tethys and Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space, according to data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission to Saturn. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy worlds.
 The particles were traced to the two moons because of the dramatic movement of electrically charged gas in the magnetic environs of Saturn. Known as plasma, the gas is composed of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions, which are atoms with one or more electrons missing. Because they are charged, the electrons and ions can get trapped inside a magnetic field.
Saturn rotates around itself in just 10 hours and 46 minutes. This sweeps the magnetic field and the trapped plasma through space. Just like a child on a fast-spinning merry-go-round, the trapped gas feels a force trying to throw it outwards, away from the centre of rotation.

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Saturn moons
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S/2007 S1, S/2007 S2, AND S/2007 S3

IAUC 8836

Name         a         i       e       Peri    Node    M        Period  mag    H      Size Year
            (km)     (deg)             (deg)   (deg)   (deg)    (days)        (mag)   (km)
 S/2007 S1  17920000   49.86   0.107   00.00   000.0   000.0    895     23.9          7    2007
 S/2007 S2  16560000   176.7   0.218   00.00   000.0   000.0    800     24.4          6    2007
 S/2007 S3  20518500   177.2   0.130   00.00   000.0   000.0    1100    24.9          5    2007


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Saturnian satellites
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Thirteen names for the Saturnian satellites (Aegir, Bebhionn, Bergelmir, Bestla, Farbauti, Fenrir, Fornjot, Hati, Hyrokkin, Kari, Loge, Skoll, and Surtur)  have been approved by the IAU WGPSN.

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9 New Saturn moons
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a i e Peri Node M Period mag size
S/2004 S19 18217125 153.3 0.360 00.00 000.0 000.0 912 23.5 8
S/2006 S1 18981135 154.2 0.130 00.00 000.0 000.0 970 24.6 6
S/2006 S2 22350000 148.4 0.341 00.00 000.0 000.0 1245 23.9 7
S/2006 S3 21132000 150.8 0.471 00.00 000.0 000.0 1142 24.6 6
S/2006 S4 18105000 172.7 0.374 00.00 000.0 000.0 905 24.4 6
S/2006 S5 23190000 166.5 0.139 00.00 000.0 000.0 1314 24.6 6
S/2006 S6 18600000 162.9 0.192 00.00 000.0 000.0 942 24.7 6
S/2006 S7 22290000 166.9 0.368 00.00 000.0 000.0 1237 24.8 6
S/2006 S8 17610000 155.6 0.418 00.00 000.0 000.0 869 24.5 6


-- Edited by Blobrana at 09:17, 2006-07-15

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S/2004 S19
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The other new moon found is S/2004 S 19

(there were only 8 listed in the last post)

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56 Saturn moons
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The Minor Planet Centre has listed nine (8 listed) more outer moons for Saturn.
They are all in retrograde orbits, with orbital periods of two to three years. S/2006 S1 to S/2006 S8 moons, were discovered with the eight meter Subaru telescope in Hawaii, by David Jewitt and company.

This brings the total count to 56 Saturnian moons

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