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Saturn’s Moon Dione Covered By Mysterious Stripes

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Mysterious straight vivid stripes have been found on Saturn’s moon Dione, says analysis by Planetary Science Institute Affiliate Analysis Scientist Alex Patthoff.

The origins of those linear virgae (virgae that means a stripe of streak of coloration) are most probably attributable to the draping of floor supplies like materials from Saturn’s rings, passing comets, or co-orbital moons Helene and Polydeuces.

“The proof preserved within the linear virgae has implications for the orbital evolution and affect processes throughout the Saturnian system,” Patthoff stated. “Plus, the interplay of Dione’s floor and exogenic materials has implications for its habitability and offers proof for the supply of components that will contribute the habitably of ocean worlds on the whole.”

Patthoff and Emily S. Martin of the Middle for Earth and Planetary Research on the Nationwide Air and Area Museum, Smithsonian Establishment, are co-authors on a brand new paper “Mysterious linear options throughout Saturn’s moon Dione” that seems within the journal Geophysical Analysis Letters. They studied photographs from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which additionally revealed related options on Saturn’s moon Rhea.

Dione’s linear virgae are usually lengthy (10 to 100s of kilometers), slim (lower than 5 kilometers) and brighter than the encircling terrains. The stripes are parallel, seem to overlie different options and are unaffected by topography, suggesting they’re among the many youngest surfaces on Dione.

“Their orientation, parallel to the equator, and linearity are in contrast to anything we have seen within the Photo voltaic System,” Patthoff stated. “If they’re attributable to an exogenic supply, that may very well be one other means to convey new materials to Dione. That materials may have implications for the organic potential of Dione’s subsurface ocean.”

Patthoff’s analysis was funded by a grant from NASA’s Cassini Information Evaluation Program.

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