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Fraser
2006-Jul-05, 07:44 PM
New photos of Saturn's E ring shows how it has a similar double-banded structure to Jupiter's ring. Thanks to data gathered by Cassini, scientists now believe that the E ring particles originate from water geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The double-banded appearance occurs because there are actually less particles at the ring plane than there are above and below it. Scientists believe the double structure is created by the trajectory of particles ejected from Enceladus, or through ongoing interactions between the moon and the ring.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/07/05/secrets-revealed-in-saturns-faintest-rings/)

George
2006-Jul-05, 10:54 PM
I am reminded of the story of the blue rings (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/blue_ring_ur.html?742006). [The E ring is blue, so the dust is submicron sized.]

The double banding is interesting. Is there any chance the vertical oscillations, assuming they exist, are a possible reason? If the vertical rates are sinusoidal, then the amount of time in the middle is much less compared to the extremities. This would cause the middle to appear less dense, I suppose. [Just another hair-brained idea, but a curiosity nonetheless.]