Saturn May be 'Pregnant' With a New Moon Peggy
By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | April 17, 2014 11:14 PM EST
It's a Peggy! Saturn is "pregnant" once again with another moon as revealed from the tiny, icy satellite images captured from NASA's Cassini-Huygens space satellite.
The planet's oversized family of 62 moons will soon be added when the lump from A-Ring, its outermost and brightest ring, will soon come out by 2016.
This was the very first time that NASA captured the space probe that started going around the Jovian planet in 2004.
In a report from Time, Carl Murray, lead author of science journal Icarus said: "We have not seen anything like this before." Hopefully, this moon birthing discovery will shed light on the process of Saturn's moon formation for the past 4.5 billion years which had not yet been documented before.
"We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right," Murray added.
This diminutive soon-to-be moon was believed to be only 0.8 kilometer or 0.5 miles in diameter which was just around 750 miles bundle. It was so tiny that the space rover Cassini has difficulty snapping a decent picture of it.
Compared with Saturn's largest moon Titan, which is 3,200 miles in diameter, Peggy will look like a dot although the scientists have no idea how big the moon will get.
The Independent reported NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the Peggy does not have a legal satellite from Saturn as there is a possibility that this lump may not grow bigger and may even fall apart.
Scientists believe the planets' oldest moon has all the raw materials needed for it to grow bigger, move outward and create its own ring. But with the subsequent moon births in the planet's extra large family, the younger moons that came out became smaller and smaller. So Saturn's moon-bearing years may soon halt.
If Peggy will be the last moon to come out from the ringed planet, its pregnancy and birth will be recorded for the scientists and the world to see.
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