Space This Week: Saturn, Mars, Spica, Full Moon 12:11 a.m. EST, June 13.
Sky & Astronomy
Show a kid: look West after sunset. Jupiter and Crescent Moon. Separated by less than 10 degrees.
Saturn May Have Produced a New Moon!
Say hello to Peggy! This new possible moon was spotted all clumped up on the outer rings of Saturn. Carl Murray (Queen Mary University, London), the lead author of the research paper recently published in the journal Icarus said, “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.” Nobody knows yet what Peggy might be, but one possibility is that it’s an accumulation of ring material that has collapsed gravitationally under its own weight. Some of Saturn’s moons, especially the ones orbiting near the rings, are thought to have formed this way.
It’s always amazing to see the discoveries heralded by astronomers that demonstrate how much we have yet to learn about our own Solar System. It’s why NASA and space exploration is important because we should try and make sense of the Universe and how it came to be. Seeing a possible moon form would be a first for us and it’s happening right in our own backyard! Cassini will try and get a closer look at Peggy in late 2016 when it makes a closer approach
We could continue making discoveries and send more missions out into the Solar System, and even beyond with a Penny4NASA. So what are you waiting for? Take action today by visiting www.penny4nasa.com/take-action
Read more about the discovery of Peggy here: http://www.universetoday.com/111233/is-saturn-making-a-new-moon/
"In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. The crew returned with 110 kilograms of rock and soil samples, more than from any of the other lunar landing sites. Cernan and Schmitt are still the last to walk (or drive) on the Moon."
Last American soft lunar landing?
Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt.