Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New Saturnian Satellite: S/ 2005 S 1

In IAU Circular #8524, C. C. Porco, CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder; and the Cassini Imaging Science Team announced the discovery of a new satellite of Saturn orbiting within the Keeler Gap of the outer A ring. The discovery was made using 16 images from a day-side ring observations taken on May 1. The moon was later found in earlier images from April 13 that focused on the F-ring (one of these images shown above). The satellite was then later found in disk-resolvable images taken on May 2. The 7-km wide S/ 2005 S 1 orbits Saturn from a distance of 136,500 km, requiring 0.594 days to orbit the gas giant. Based on observations taken thus far, this moon has an albedo of 0.5. With the images taken thus far, a statistically meaningful eccentricity and inclination has not been determined.

Thanks to The Singing Badger and alan over at the Unmannedspaceflight.com forum for the information that went into this report.


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