Evidence of ‘shattered moon’ found inside rings of Saturn

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Evidence of ‘shattered moon’ found inside rings of Saturn

By | January 1, 2019

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scientists say that floating inside Saturn‘s rings are pieces of what they believe to be a “shattered moon,” according to images captured by NASA’s spacecraft Cassini–Huygens.

The scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder looked at the images which were captured in 2004, and found what they call “moonlets” or large pieces ranging from the size of a stadium to a semi truck, of what they say are the remains of a large moon which was likely destroyed when a comet or asteroid slammed into it.

“This is the first evidence of a moonlet belt in any of Saturn’s rings. We have firmly established these moonlets exist in a relatively narrow region of the “A” ring, and the evidence indicates they are remnants of a larger moon that was shattered by a meteoroid or comet,” said one of the researchers, Miodrag Sremcevic.

The Cassini spacecraft captures eight new propeller-like features within Saturn’s A ring in what may be the propeller “hot zone” of Saturn’s rings. Propeller features form around small moonlets that are not massive enough to clear out ring material, but are still able to pull smaller ring particles into a shape reminiscent of an airplane propeller. Scientists believe that propellers represent moonlet wakes, which are denser than the surrounding ring material and appear bright in the images. The length of the belt in which the moonlets were discovered is almost 2,000 miles long.

Scientists estimate that the size of the moon was relative to the size of Pan, the innermost moon of Saturn. It only measures 20 miles wide at its widest point.

Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare

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Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British Royal Air Force gave the all clear at the Lyneham air base in Wiltshire, England after an earlier bomb scare.

It had earlier been reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside a vehicle by a bomb sniffing dog. According to BBC News, the vehicle was parked outside the air base’s fence. Officials would not elaborate on what was inside the vehicle, but BBC reports that the vehicle was possibly military and that bomb residue was found on the vehicle.

A Royal Air Force spokesman said a bomb squad was called to the location to investigate the find. “An EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team are on site and currently working to make the area safe. It is too early to speculate at this stage.” Officials say the reaction was routine and situations like this are treated as if a device had been found. Anytime a dog is alerted to possible explosives, the proper teams are called in to investigate.

RAF Lyneham is one of the UK’s largest air bases, and is home to the RAF’s fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Many bodies of the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan are brought to the base from the country.