Be alert for parachuting elephants!

Something weird is going on out there. Phil Plait says, “Deep in the outer realms of our solar system, well over a billion kilometers away, something bizarre happened at Saturn’s F ring. I mean, seriously: what the hell happened here?” Read his post “Like the fist of an angry god” at Discover Magazine’s Bad Astronomy blog.

CICLOPS, has the full image, and many more, at Punching through the F Ring (NASA Cassini Saturn Mission Images).

Most likely this is just an ordinary event — some object orbiting Saturn, or just passing by, that happened to be caught on camera as it punched through the ring. However, there could be a more ominous cause, as anyone who has read Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s 1985 novel Footfall should know. A disturbance of Saturn’s F-Ring was the first hint of an invasion of Earth by elephant-like beings. One phase of the invasion included many of them parachuting to earth (thus the title of this post).

image: NASA, Punching_through_the_F_Ring (PNG),
image: Antepenultimate, Footfall(1stEd).jpg, Wikipedia

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