Right before NASA’s Cassini spacecraft burned up in Saturn’s atmosphere, it managed to photograph an ‘unexplained glitch’ on Saturn’s rings. “What is it? Where did it come from? Where is it going? We’ve been tracking it almost ever since” astronomers say. “We’ve never actually resolved the object. All we can do is track the glitch.”
One of the last images snapped by the doomed Cassini spacecraft shows something mysterious in Saturn’s rings.
Is it Aliens? Not really, but it’s exciting. Really exciting.
Cassini has taught us so many interesting things not only about Saturn and its moons but about the solar system in general.
And while we have learned so many new details about our solar system, Cassini has opened the doors for more questions to flood our astronomers on Earth who have uncovered new details about the planets and moons in our solar system.
Among the mysteries still to be solved is the possible formation of a strange ‘unidentified object’ nicknamed ‘Peggy’.
Some have proposed it could be a moon that is supposedly forming inside of Saturn’s rings.
Astronomers were able to deduce its there thanks to disturbances within Saturns rings, which were first spotted by an astronomer from the Queen Mary University of London, Carl Murray.
Small disturbances in the rings—waves—have been noticed by astronomers who associated them to shepherd moons. Shepherd moons are essentially extremely small satellites that live inside the rings and help keep them stable around the planet.
Murray noticed strange new wobbles in the rings in 2013, but he failed to spot the supposed moon.
Since then, astronomers have been studying the data and images sent back by Cassini in order to get as much information about the anomalous satellites as possible. Experts never managed to get to the bottom of it and spot it. However, experts estimate that based on the size of the disturbances, it could be extremely large.
Earlier this year while speaking in an interview with BBC News Murray said they are already tracking Peggy: “When Cassini came out of its ring plane orbit in early 2016, we went back to look where Peggy should be; and we found Peggy and we’ve been tracking it ever since.”
In order to find out more about the mystery object, Murray is combing through data sent back from Cassini from its last passage, right before it plunged into Saturn, but curiously, he can’t find Peggy anywhere.
“I couldn’t find Peggy in the data though I’m still looking,” he told Mika McKinnon at Gizmodo. “Peggy’s probably there, I just haven’t found exactly where yet.”
Murray and his team are fascinated by the odd disturbance.
“What is it? Where did it come from? Where is it going? We’ve been tracking it almost ever since” Murray says. “We’ve never actually resolved the object. All we can do is track the glitch.”