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View Full Version : Discussion: Searching for Spokes



Fraser
2005-Aug-31, 06:58 PM
SUMMARY: In this extreme contrast view of Saturn's rings, has been created by NASA in order to search for spokes. These are ghostly lanes of dust that NASA's Voyager spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope have seen in the past - so far, though, Cassini has failed to get a picture of them. The spokes are probably invisible because the Sun's angle to the rings is relatively high. As Saturn's summer in the southern hemisphere moves into autumn, the spokes should become visible again.

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

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

iron4
2005-Sep-04, 07:21 PM
Those spokes are kinda interesting. Here is a pic of some ring spokes

http://www.solarviews.com/cap/sat/spokes.htm

VanderL
2005-Sep-04, 09:36 PM
I read in Astronomy (Explore the Universe, special ed.) that the spokes "vary with the 11-year cycle of solar activity, or depend on where Saturn lies in it's 29.5 year orbit around the Sun".
I think the viewing angle has changed many times during Cassini's mission, if the 11-year cycle is the reason we should soon be able to see those spokes again.

Cheers.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-04, 11:56 PM
the spokes "vary with the 11-year cycle of solar activity, or depend on where Saturn lies in it's 29.5 year orbit around the Sun".

The Cassini website indicated that they thought the visibility of the spokes was enhanced as Voyager went by because the rings were at a low angle to the Sun, and that the current high angle made the contrast very low. If it is the angle of the ring-plane to the Sun, then we should see the spokes better during the extended mission. If it is owing to the Solar cycle (as you suggest), we should see them better toward the end of the primary mission. Either way, can't see them now, but we should be able to see them later.

Eric Vaxxine
2005-Sep-05, 03:47 PM
What are these spokes, energy fields (like a magnet) or energy like LCD?
Apply current, change colour? What are the theories? The only info I have seen recently is on enterprisemission.com, but....well...uh hummm.... most people wouldn't seriously discuss theories from a site like that.