Particle Sizes in Saturn's Rings
Explanation: What size particles compose Saturn's rings? To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn broadcast radio waves of three different wavelengths right through the rings to Earth earlier this month. The experiment was sensitive to ring particle sizes because ring particles much larger than a broadcast radio wavelength will reflect those radio waves away. Three different wavelengths were used: approximately 1 centimeter, 3.5 centimeters, and 13 centimeters. The results are coded into the above false-color digitally reconstructed image. In the above image, the color purple indicates regions populated predominantly by ring particles larger than 5 centimeters, while the color green indicates regions with a significant population of small ring particles less than even 1 centimeter. The white center of Saturn's B-ring indicates that the density of ring particles was too high to make a good determination. Other radio observations indicate that some ring particles can be as large as several meters across. The impressive nature and clarity of the above sharp image may help determine clues about the origin of Saturn's beautiful but enigmatic ring system.The Space Store is an online store offering fine quality space products from our on-line discount store. Shop our store to buy NASA gifts, SpaceX Products, Space Shuttle collectibles, International Space Station and Apollo space program products. Buy astronaut autographs, space and NASA memorabilia and collectibles, space toys, rockets, astronaut dolls, space LEGO toys, and astronaut costumes. We sell NASA flight suits, space shuttle flight jackets, NASA mission patches and mission insignia pins. Shop us for Fisher space pens, meteorite jewelry and astronomy toys.