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    The remaining thirty-eight

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    kosovohp

    Posts : 226
    Join date : 2010-09-22

    The remaining thirty-eight

    Post by kosovohp on Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:22 am

    The remaining thirty-eight, all small except one, are irregular satellites, whose orbits are much farther from Saturn, have high inclinations, and are mixed between prograde and retrograde. These moons are probably captured minor planets, or debris from the breakup of such bodies after they were captured, creating collisional families. The irregular satellites have been classified by their orbital characteristics into the Inuit, Norse, and Gallic groups, and their names are chosen from the corresponding mythologies. The largest of the irregular moons is Phoebe, the ninth moon of Saturn, discovered at the end of the 19th century.
    The rings of Saturn are made up of objects ranging in size from microscopic to hundreds of meters, each of which is on its own orbit about the planet.[3] Thus a precise number of Saturnian moons cannot be given, as there is no objective boundary between the countless small anonymous objects that form Saturn's ring system and the larger objects that have been named as moons. At least 150 moonlets embedded in the rings have been detected by the disturbance they create in the surrounding ring material, though this is thought to be only a small sample of the total population of such objects.[4]


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