"These strands, initially interpreted as concentric ring segments, are in fact connected and form a single one-arm trailing spiral winding at least three times around Saturn," Charnoz and colleagues write in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Science.
Charnoz team made computer simulations to explore the spiral's origin. The new explanation raises more questions than it answers.
"The newly reported spiral is in a class by itself," says Mark Showalter, a SETI Institute researcher who wrote an analysis of the discovery for Science.
And it is changing rapidly. The spiral wound itself tighter between November 2004 and May 2005, the Cassini observations show. It will continue to tighten until the strands blend into a more uniform feature, Showalter said.
November 29, 2005
Saturn Surprise: One Ring is Actually a Spiral
From Space.com. And can I just say, does anyone remember when this blog used to be called "Bella Rossa: More Questions Than Answers"? Because I think that was a total shout-out there below. God, I'm so cool.