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Thread: Discussion: Searching for Spokes

  1. #1
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    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.

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  2. #2
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    Those spokes are kinda interesting. Here is a pic of some ring spokes

    http://www.solarviews.com/cap/sat/spokes.htm
    Last edited by iron4; 2005-Sep-04 at 07:27 PM. Reason: I posted a wrong link

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanderL
    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.

  5. #5
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    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.

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