The Propellers of Saturn

It sounds like a title of a pulp-era sf story, but propellers are actual features in Saturn’s Rings that look like … well, propellers.

These things are way cool. Imagine a moonlet about the size of a sports arena or a cathedral. It has just enough gravity to attract some dust in front and behind it as it orbits Saturn, but it’s not massive enough to clear out a whole gap like the moon Daphnis:

This news release from CU-Boulder describes a whole belt of moonlets. Imagine what sf writers of the 30’s and 40’s might have thought of them.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Astronomy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Propellers of Saturn

  1. clairity says:

    I love these astronomy asides. Thanks for sharing them!

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