Illustration for article titled Thats No Moon... Thats A Bunch Of Free-Floating Debris

If analysis of new images of Jupiter are to be believed, the planet may have found itself with a new ring recently, which may answer the question of what happened to disappearing moon S/2000 J 11...


Analysis of an image of Jupiter's moon Himalia taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in September 2006 identifies something that maybe wasn't there when Galileo visited three years earlier, according to Johns Hopkins University's Andy Cheng:

We were taking an image of Himalia to test the instrument. It was completely unexpected that something else was there... If we're right that it was very recent, it might not have existed before [Galileo's visit].


That "something" is possibly a new ring around the planet, something that may be the result of the mysterious "disappearance" of Jupter's moon S/2000 J 11 shortly after its discovery in 2000. The team believes that the new possible ring is actually what remains of the moon, after it collided with Himalia at some point in the last few years and was destroyed. Cheng again:

Our view of the solar system has changed. It's not a static place where things stay the same for ever and ever.

Moon marriage may have given Jupiter a ring [New Scientist]

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