Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ringmakers of Saturn - chpt 1 historical problems


This chapter addresses the curious history of Saturn.     Understand that we have only several objects in the solar system which can be observed.  This means that from almost Galileo on we have had observers watching Saturn.  It is thus no surprise that anomalies would be see if they occurred.  This is not true at all for the resty of the sky.

My second observation is that so called poor quality 17th and 18thh century scopes are now been manufactured in huge volumes and we should be able to easily compare present behavior to past reports.  We must have a whole library of results to compare to those of the past.  Thus we can not dismiss any such data out of hand.

Then we get on to luminous point of light and the final one which literally behaves as an artificial object simply because it turns on and it turns off.  Then we have the observed passage through the rings at a reasonable velocity for the task at hand.  All this is expected behavior for a huge space object intelligently operated.  Any natural explanation is presently not viable at all.

It also prepares us for huge craft such as one can and will build in space...

My initial conjecture of what we are seeing is a number of huge craft tasked to plunge down into the atmosphere of Saturn to collect matter and then return to orbit in order to seed the rings.  These rings are then used by passing Generation ships to top up their supply of kinetic material before passing through our Solar System on the way to another system.  They also likely use this passage to alter their direction.


Puzzlements of Saturn

Saturn has beguiled observers since the dawn of recorded history over 50 centuries ago. In earliest history, Saturn has been associated with omens concerning both political and daily life. This situation
changed little until the beginning of the 17th century when Galileo and his contemporaries, using telescopes, began systematic observations of Saturn.

Seventeenth century observers documented a variety of shapes for what are now known as Saturn's rings. Galileo himself pictured the "rings" as solid circles, one on either side of the planet. Others pictured a solid elliptical ring plane, but one containing unusual openings such as circles and diamond shapes. Absence of rings also is recorded.

Variance among observers and the uncommon appearance of the rings have been attributed to poor telescope quality in early days.

Poor telescope quality also has been cited for the wide range in ringplane thickness documented by various observers later in the 18th century. Reported thicknesses range from 335 km (280 mi) to 16 km (10 mi). Whether Saturn had any rings at all continued to be questioned into the 19th century. In a carefully timed observation, a definitive shadow was expected to be cast on the ring plane by Saturn's
moon, Titan; but no perceptible shadow ever occurred. The observer, W. R. Dawes, carefully concluded in 1862 that the rings must be inconceivably thin.

Near the end of the 18th century, luminous points were observed on the edge of the ring plane. One of these is reported to have moved off its position. None of the luminous points persisted very long (less than 16 hours), thereby negating the possibility of their being satellites. The observer, William Herschel, postulated in 1789 that some sort of unstable source must be responsible, such as an intense fire. Another puzzlement has been the sighting of one arm of the ring when the other arm could not be detected.
Luminous points continued to be reported by discriminating observers into the 19th century. Again, satellites of Saturn had to be ruled out as none could be located in the vicinity. The most astounding
and now famous observations of a light source came in the 20th century on 9 February 1917. Two astronomers, Maurice Ainslie and John Knight of Great Britain, observed the source independently.

Brightness of the source was so intense that Ainslie referred to the object as a "star". The star traveled a straight-line course which, in effect, subtended a chord across the ring system. Length of the chord was of the order of 125,000 km (77,700 mi). Observed time to traverse this chordal distance across the ring system was 1 hour and 40 minutes, making the average velocity 21 km/sec (13 mi/sec). This value compares with an average velocity for Voyager en route to Saturn of about 13.7 km/sec (8.5 mi/sec). That is, the star was about 1 1/2 times faster. During the observations when the star was in plain view, the light therefrom appeared to be elongated. There was a strange aspect about the traversal itself. Seeming to move through the ring plane without difficulty, the star appeared to devour material ahead as it proceeded. Further, at no time did the rings completely block out the radiating light.

Results from Voyager 1 have added new puzzlements. For example, so-called "spokes" of light stretch across part of the ring system; the F ring, which is positioned alone outside the main ring plane, contains entwined strands or "braids"; intense electrical discharges similar to, but much greater than, terrestrial lightning have been recorded; and Saturn's moon Iapetus is about 10 times, or one order* of magnitude, brighter on the sun-shadowed side than on the sun-exposed side.

Ring-plane thickness has been an exasperating frustration for almost 200 years. Voyager 1 did not shed any new light on the matter.

Later, Voyager 2 added mystery to the existing enigma when, on 26 August 1981, instrumentation indicated the effective ring-plane thickness to be in the neighborhood of 1000 km (about 600 mi). This value is about twice those reported at the turn of the 18th century, and over an order of magnitude greater than measurements obtained during the onset of the 20th century. The problem is how to explain such a wide spread in measurements of the same thing. Pressure mounts to recognize all ring-thickness values as being approximately correct at the time obtained. Such recognition, however, requires discarding a belief that 20th century telescopes could yield vastly better gross ringpattern definition than 18th century telescopes.

How is it possible for so many conscientious observer-analysts to encounter so many blocks to progress? Part of the answer to this question seems to be that preconceived ideas have been converted into fixed ideas. Then, when new data are received which do not conform to the fixed ideas, an impediment to progress is experienced. The reported variance in ring-plane thickness is a really good example. A preconceived idea which tacitly has become fixed is that ring thickness should be a constant, whereupon, variable thicknesses are intolerable.

An impersonal method for dispensing with unwanted measurements has been to attribute variances plausibly to poor-quality telescopes.  [ I have a real problem with that because operators understand their tools and will rotate things in order to eliminate error at the least. - arclein ]

Notwithstanding the tendency to dispose of untoward data, another part of the answer to the question is that something in or about the data is being overlooked. Oversight unobtrusively is convenient when fixed ideas are being promulgated. However, oversight also can occur because of presumptive expectations that confirmative new findings will be obtained. Important facts have an uncanny tendency to remain obscure.

Correct explanations of Saturn's mysteries not only must be consistent with flyby observations, but also they must agree with the general thrust of findings by earlier observers. For example, 17th century observers indicate that Saturn's present annular-ring system has not always been so configured. On an absolute scale, 17th and 18th century telescopes admittedly were not sophisticated. 

However, recorded differences in ring-system configurations were made with nearly equally unsophisticated telescopes. Therefore, while minutiae concerning ring shapes can be questioned, gross differences in form most likely are valid.

A valid explanation for ring configuration as seen by Voyager flybys should be capable also of encompassing 17th, 18th and 19th century observations. When a single causal mechanism explains several events, the correct explanation almost certainly has been found. Conversely, when a plurality of mechanisms is required to explain several events, the correct explanation almost certainly has not been found. In the former instance, no coincidences are required. In the latter instance, unlikely coincidences are required. Existence of concurrent happenings, or a multiplicity of sequential happenings, only can be hypothesized. 

Introduction of coincidences into an analysis potentially is fraught with error.

Though the facts developed herein resemble science-fiction fantasy, impersonal photographs convey real-life non-fiction. Photographs and illustrations, coupled with their captions and labels, provide a
skeletal framework of this scientific reference work. Pieces of the Saturn puzzle are presented in an ordered manner. Consequently, the reader is urged to proceed as though each chapter is a prerequisite to the subsequent one.

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