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Still Waters

Mystery of Saturn's Walnut Moon Cracked?

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The giant ridge around the middle of Saturn moon's Iapetus that makes it resemble an oversize walnut may have essentially formed as a "hug" from a dead moon, researchers say.

Iapetus, the third-largest of Saturn's moons, possesses a mountain range like no other in the solar system. This enormous ridge wraps along its equator, reaching up to 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) high and 124 miles (200 km) wide, and encircles more than 75 percent of the moon. Altogether, the ridge may constitute about one-thousandth the mass of Iapetus.

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Posted (edited)

Read the article. My question is this: If the equatorial ridge on Iapetus was caused by a debris ring collapsing onto its surface, why does it only reach about one half (or three quarters) of the way around the planet? Shouldn't the remains of such a ring have been equally distributed all around?

Edited by bison

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