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We've come a long way since our ancestors stood outside and decided a random glob of stars was somehow a crab or a warrior and made myths based on their dramatic lives. Astronomers are making discoveries across our universe pretty much every day, and whenever a new moon or planet is discovered, it gets most people newly excited about space.
According to the Los Angeles Times, our interstellar neighbor Saturn might have a new tiny moon named Peggy. The NASA Cassini spacecraft seems to have found evidence of a small, half mile wide object in the edge of Saturn's A ring. The object, Peggy, seems to have made the ring's smooth edge a little bit rougher from gravity. A stretch of about 750 miles by 6 miles wide on the A ring is about 20% brighter now, too. Peggy obviously wanted to make her presence known.
Saturn has a ton of moons, making our single lunar buddy seem a bit puny. In fact, Saturn currently has 53 known moons and 9 that are still waiting to be added to the list. Scientists believe that these moons were once part of the ice in the ring and drifted out into their own orbits. The oldest current ring most likely formed when the grouping was much larger or thicker. They managed to grab so much space stuff and smash it together, then drift further away from Saturn. Younger moons like Peggy tend to stay closer to the planet because they are less massive.
Space has been a huge headline maker the past few weeks. Mars, one of our favorite planets, was confirmed to not have alien bonfires on it but scientists did find evidence of an underground lake . Last night the moon turned a pretty peach red, but didn't quite live up to the blood moon we had hoped for. It feels, to me at least, that we are on the brink of making even more incredible scientific discoveries all the time.
Researchers think that we are pretty much witnessing Saturn give birth to Peggy, something we have never seen before. It's possible that it may break apart and never really be its own planetary body once leaving the rings, but I'm definitely pulling for the tiny moon to hold its own. In 2016, we will get a much better look at Peggy as Cassini gets closer to the A ring. I absolutely can't wait to see what happens with this infant moon.