The moons of Saturn in the form of dumpling came from a head-on collision of smaller bodies

The moons of Saturn in the form of dumpling came from a head-on collision of smaller bodies

Astronomers explained how in the Saturn system could have formed the small inner satellites of unusual form (in the form of cigars and dumplings).

It is assumed that this happened as a result of head-on collisions of two smaller bodies and their subsequent adhesion, according to the article published in Nature.

Today, astronomers know about the existence of 62 satellites of Saturn.

Many of them, such as small inner satellites, such as Atlas, Prometheus, Pandora, Janus or pimeta, have unusual shape and size. In particular, the images obtained by the automatic station Cassini, Atlas and pan are seen the Equatorial belt, similar to the ridges and giving them the resemblance of dumplings. The same belt seen in larger satellites of yapet. Still have not determined the exact nature of these terrain features satellites.

Since Saturn is much more massive than Earth, and the inner satellites are located closer to the planet than the Moon is to Earth, it is necessary to consider the influence of powerful tidal forces from the gas giant, which could promote the formation of elongated satellites or the gradual buildup of substances in the Equatorial region. However, such a model would lead to the formation of the Roche ellipsoids, unlike the real shape of the satellites. An alternative model of education called the pyramidal regime (pyramidal regime), suggests that these satellites formed as a result of a series of mergers of smaller bodies similar in sizeduring their migration from the rings to the gas giant, and fits in with observations.

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In the new work, a team of astronomers led by Adrien Leleu (Adrien Leleu) decided to test the accuracy of the pyramidal regime and modeled the collision of two small bodies of similar size and their subsequent merger. The researchers combined method of N-bodies with the SPH-method to determine the appropriate value of the angle at which the body RAID each other and their speed and mass, so in the end we got satellite with a shape similar to the observed automatic stations.

Earlier we talked about how the Cassini confirmed the existence of Titan’s canyon system and how Dion suspected the existence of a hidden ocean. About the wonderful world of rings and moons of the Saturn system, open to us the unit, please refer to our corresponding material.