by Matthew Cobb
The Cassini probe may have plummeted into Saturn’s gassy depths, becoming part of the planet it had observed so long, but it still keeps giving science. As Rae Paoletta noted on Inverse a couple of days ago, Cassini’s data reveal the presence of kittens in the F ring of Saturn.
Sadly these aren’t real space kittens, but lumps of rock or moonless, first noted in 2007, which continually pull and distort the F ring, making it continually change shape. According to Rae, NASA gave the moonlets cat names like Mittens and Fluffy because “they appear to come and go unexpectedly over time and have multiple lives.”
“This was an appropriate nomenclature for temporary features, and I favor using feline names in other applicable situations,” Larry Esposito, principal investigator of the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) experiment on the Cassini, tells Inverse. Esposito — who is…
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