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Fraser
2005-May-12, 06:30 PM
SUMMARY: Take a good look at Saturn's moon Iapetus and it has a few striking features that set it apart from every other object in the solar system. For one thing, it seems to have two faces: one white, like freshly fallen snow, and the other dark like volcanic rock. But even stranger, Iapetus has a seam. Right at the equator, and going halfway around the planet, it's probably 20 km (12 miles) high - as if the moon was cut in half and then smashed back together. Planetary geologists have assumed this seam is volcanic in origin, but Paulo C.C. Freire of the Arecibo Observatory has another suggestion. In the distant past, Iapetus gobbled up one of Saturn's rings.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/iapetus_consume_saturn_ring.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

antoniseb
2005-May-12, 06:44 PM
It is an interesting idea, I find it very hard to picture how Iapetus' orbit could have been changed enough to make all this happen, but there is NO question that Iapetus has had an unusual past.

John L
2005-May-12, 06:50 PM
I like it!

TuTone
2005-May-12, 08:32 PM
That's one amazing moon!

lswinford
2005-May-12, 08:59 PM
I was just eating a nice, healthy apple, secretly wishing that I had a big, hot mess of deep-fried and battered onion rings. Then I spot an article about a moon eating a ring. In this case it seems more like a nice hot donut hole dipped in powdered-sugar or icing, which ironically, some have elsewhere described some of Saturn's rings in terms of ice or powder.

Don't mind me, I'm just hungry.

Greg
2005-May-12, 09:59 PM
Very nice. Simple, yet elegant explanation. I can't think of any holes in it.

qraal
2005-May-12, 10:39 PM
Very nice. Simple, yet elegant explanation. I can't think of any holes in it.

Aside from the obvious difficulty of sending Iapetus plowing into a Ring without it actually whacking into any other moon on the way.

I still think it's a disused maglev ramp built by ETIs aeons ago. Can't wait for the next Cassini close-up.

qraal

goddardrocketry
2005-May-13, 12:17 AM
Must've been a lot of collisions with how much material is in space there. Is that moon large enough that it could have had its own ring that collided with the surface?

imported_alan
2005-May-13, 03:55 AM
First, how likely is it that a moon would have an encounter that puts it in eccentric orbit that just happens to have no inclination and a closest approach at the outer edge of a ring. Second wouldn't the impacts create a trench rather than a ridge?

Fraser
2005-May-13, 03:58 AM
From what I can tell, Cassini isn't scheduled for another flyby until September 2007, but it's going to be really close, only 1227 km.

Here's a list of Cassini flybys.
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/satu...tes-showAll.cfm (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/saturn-tour-dates-showAll.cfm)

Svemir
2005-May-13, 05:10 AM
This story is an old news, allready commented here at:
http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...?showtopic=6009 (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6009)

Fraser
2005-May-13, 07:42 AM
Well, that was announcing this seam, this is just providing one explanation.

Svemir
2005-May-13, 07:54 AM
I meant this link
http://www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf...504/0504653.pdf (http://www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0504/0504653.pdf)
is provided in previous topic.

Eric Vaxxine
2005-May-13, 08:50 AM
This is interesting about Iapetus

http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon3.htm

aeolus
2005-May-13, 12:49 PM
I think this is a neat theory. I'm no planetary geologist, so of couse this guy sounds pretty convincing, and I can't really argue, but it certainly beats out the tectonic/volcanic theory in my mind. (The rindge) seems too perfect for that.

That article made me smile; I enjoyed reading it. I like the part that critiques the complex, dangerous orbit pattern that "must not be allowed to continue"( just so we can get close to the moon and see if it is infact an ancient spaceship).

I personally think that's the coolest part of the Cassini mission: the complex orbit that allows it to flyby so many different bodies in one mission.

isferno
2005-May-13, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb@May 12 2005, 08:44 PM
It is an interesting idea, I find it very hard to picture how Iapetus' orbit could have been changed enough to make all this happen, but there is NO question that Iapetus has had an unusual past.
You can say that again Antoni.

Distance between Iapetus and Outer Rings averages 10 Earth-Moon distances.


End of Outer most Ring (E) 480000 Km
V Rhea 527100 Km
VI Titan 1221900 Km
VII Hyperion 1464100 Km
VIII Iapetus 3560800 Km

antoniseb
2005-May-13, 03:39 PM
Two things:

First, I noticed that New Scientist has now done their own article on this topic, which, I guess means this is an interesting story.

Second, it is possible, I suppose, that SOEM kind of history similar to the one described here happened... Supposing, for example, that there was a temporary ring formed because of a collision between proto-Iapetus and some large proto-KBO (like pheobe), and that this ring formed in the plane of Iapetus' orbit, and eventually came down largely on the Iapetus equator.

This is a little far fetched, but not so bad as Iapetus somehow moving outward in orbit as much as this idea claims.

John L
2005-May-13, 03:52 PM
Or perhaps an earlier ring was perturbed and drifted out to Iapetus' orbit, was consumed by Iapetus, and now no longer exists? I can see a ring being more eaily perturbed and then being consumed that this moon...

Cave Man
2005-May-13, 05:21 PM
So, how do you pronounce "rindge"?

iantresman
2005-May-13, 09:01 PM
Proponents of the Electric Universe have their own theory for the ridge around Iapetus: a plasma discharges can create a sphere, complete with a ridge. It's completely consistent with the Electric Universe model, and can be duplicated in the laboratory. More details in the article, on the Thunderbolts Website at Equatorial Ridge of Iapetus (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/050418iapetus.htm).

Regards,
Ian Tresman

antoniseb
2005-May-13, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by iantresman@May 13 2005, 09:01 PM
can be duplicated in the laboratory.
But not, apparently, on any other body in the solar system.

John L
2005-May-13, 09:12 PM
The rindge is not entirely around Iapetus. It is only on the leading side of Iapetus... the same side stained dark from the deposition of an unknown material. That is why the consumedd ring answer seems correct.

isferno
2005-May-13, 11:48 PM
Similarty? Rings and Prometheus.

Prometheus Disrupting Saturn's Rings (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/disrupting_rings.html?3122004)

VanderL
2005-May-14, 12:10 PM
The rindge is not entirely around Iapetus. It is only on the leading side of Iapetus... the same side stained dark from the deposition of an unknown material. That is why the consumedd ring answer seems correct.

Haven't actually looked at the article, but can the ring "collision" make bulges? I would think impacts create craters, making this ring/Iapetus proposal highly unlikely, to the point of being impossible.

Cheers.

Guest_Peter
2005-May-14, 01:50 PM
Not being totally up on the probabilities nor the system used for the photos, I would like to put this forward... Is it possible that at the time the photograph was taken some anomoly (i.e. poor seeing, electronic glitch, radiation burst, etc) could have caused the photo to be distorted? As an example; if you print out something on two pages and tape them together without lining them up perfectly you can get a similar effect. As I said I am only throwing an idea in the ring and science has got it wrong before, just look at neanderthal man and his hunched back.

antoniseb
2005-May-14, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by VanderL@May 14 2005, 12:10 PM
Haven't actually looked at the article, but can the ring "collision" make bulges? I would think impacts create craters
If the ring were made of boulders, you'd be right. Suppose, however that it was made of dust, and that this dust fell on Iapetus over the course of thousands of years. Imagine also that Iapetus was co-orbiting with the dust so the bulk of its velocity when it hit Iapetus was from falling in Iapetus' gravity. Imagine also that this happened at an early time in Saturn's history, and that Iapetus had a thin atmosphere to slow the dust at the end of its fall.

I'm not saying the idea must be right (I think it has some big problems). I'm only saying that this particular objection doesn't rule out the idea.

iantresman
2005-May-14, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Guest_Peter@May 14 2005, 02:50 PM
Not being totally up on the probabilities nor the system used for the photos, I would like to put this forward... Is it possible that at the time the photograph was taken some anomoly (i.e. poor seeing, electronic glitch, radiation burst, etc) could have caused the photo to be distorted? As an example; if you print out something on two pages and tape them together without lining them up perfectly you can get a similar effect. As I said I am only throwing an idea in the ring and science has got it wrong before, just look at neanderthal man and his hunched back.
Sounds reasonable to me. A second photo from a different angle would indicate whether this is the case. It's also possible that the original image may have some data-checking built-in which would also tell you whether the image was corrupted.

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Nereid
2005-May-15, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by iantresman@May 13 2005, 09:01 PM
Proponents of the Electric Universe have their own theory for the ridge around Iapetus: a plasma discharges can create a sphere, complete with a ridge. It's completely consistent with the Electric Universe model, and can be duplicated in the laboratory. More details in the article, on the Thunderbolts Website at Equatorial Ridge of Iapetus (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/050418iapetus.htm).

Regards,
Ian Tresman
Interesting.

What (plasma) processes produced the equatorial ridges? What is the scaling factor (i.e. the relationship between size of 'concretion' and current, or similar parameters)? What type of discharge (OOM) would be needed to produce an Iapetus? What 'markers' did Ransom note, to distinguish zapping from any other process of (sphere) formation (other than the spherical shape itself)? How do the 'ridge height' vs 'diameter' ratios of the mm-sized objects compare with the thousand km-sized Iapetus? Were Ransom's spheres peppered with craters (whose size/number distribution matched that of Iapetus)? Where is the 19 April Ransom paper? Has it been published in a peer-reviewed journal? If so, which one? If not, why not?

iantresman
2005-May-15, 09:11 AM
What (plasma) processes produced the equatorial ridges? What is the scaling factor (i.e. the relationship between size of 'concretion' and current, or similar parameters)? What type of discharge (OOM) would be needed to produce an Iapetus? What 'markers' did Ransom note, to distinguish zapping from any other process of (sphere) formation (other than the spherical shape itself)? How do the 'ridge height' vs 'diameter' ratios of the mm-sized objects compare with the thousand km-sized Iapetus? Were Ransom's spheres peppered with craters (whose size/number distribution matched that of Iapetus)? Where is the 19 April Ransom paper? Has it been published in a peer-reviewed journal? If so, which one? If not, why not?
Now that's a good question, and to which you wouldn't be surprised that we don't have an answer. All there is, is a demonstration, that in the laboratory, it works as demonstrated. And while the properties of plasmas can be scaled over at least 14 orders of magnitudes, I have no idea how the properties of "sand", or "rock" scales.

Ransom's presentation was made at the recent April 2005 American Physical Society meeting [Abstract (http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR05/Event/29058)].

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Guest_Spooky
2005-Jun-07, 12:06 AM
My theory is that Iapteus was not hit by one of Saturn's rings. Suffice it to say that the rings are actually made up of ancient moonlets that were smashed into dust, why would Iapetus escape this same fate? Remember this scientist in PR is forgetting that there is little or no legacy gravity near or on Iapetus, other than Saturn's micro-gravity that far out. Remember Saturn has no real mass. Its a gas giant. The centripetal and inertial force of ring debris hitting Iapetus would cause it to deflect its mass on an angle out into space. For some reason the moon stays close to home in a strange orbit. Why aren't the rings colliding with it today? Also the very velocity of the ring projectiles would have virtually sliced the moon in half as well. Someone said that trenches would be indicated rather than ridges, that was right, IMO! No, the 12-mile high equatorial wall must have been made by something else (arguably not impossible in micro-gravity but very hard for humanids in a oxygen-less atmosphere). Why just the equator in an almost laser assisted straight line? Why not random places along the plains? What caused the black soot on the dark side? How come there are no meteor craters on the wall - that I ever saw? If I were to venture a crazy guess it seems like the wall was to "prevent" the blackness (soot) from spreading to the other side. Seems to have worked too. But why? Now I know that sounds like artificiality. Furthermore, how would you explain the obvious artifacts at the Cydonian Plains on Mars and the hollowness of it's satellite Phobos? I think the scientist in Puerto Rico needs to go back to the drawing board.

Leave us not forget that Titan is full of mystery too. What's causing the gigantic light source on the supposed dark side of Titan? How come methane does not disintegrate into the solar UV light? Where is the supply of fresh methane coming from? Isn't methane normally of organic origin? How does frozen methane flow and cause river channels, seas, bays, harbors, and islands? How did continents form on Titan? There are so many questions it makes me wonder why any one would listen to this guy in Arecibo speaking almost in the absolute. Nothing is absolute. Even that statement!

Isn't Arecibo the home of SETI? Isn't that where the giant radio-telescope is? I thought they were looking for "little green-men". Maybe they found evidence of their ancient past here???

Spooky
http://uplink.space.com/attachments//214776-yellowblue_processed.jpg

Guest
2005-Jun-07, 12:09 AM
Wait a minute... What if the dark side was impacted by the blast wave from another moon or something big exploding nearby? Then the immense shock wave compressed the dark side so hard it pushed that ridge up like when a American baseball player slides into home plate and makes a ridge in the dirt with his foot. The soot could be the blast debris. Hmmm... Who knows?
Spooky

IsItArt
2005-Aug-29, 05:18 PM
This "explanation" is so bad, it isn't even wrong! Let me get this straight, the ridge is a build up of matter collisions. The wall ("Rindge" is so hokey.) stretches for 240 degrees around Iapetus (not 180% as would happen with collisions), and the densest parts of the wall are NOT in the center. Then, something knocks this 970 mile wide object into a 15degree inclined orbit out to a 2 million mile orbital radius, while its period remains fixed and the orbital eccentricity is less than 2%! (Our moon's orbit is on the order of 5%-6% eccentric.) Unbelievable that somebody would publish such nonsense!