Saturn's rings and moons are a diverse group, but some of their differences are only skin deep. A new analysis of the Saturnian system shows that the planet's rings and satellites have at least one compositional characteristic in common. They appear uniformly stocked with water ice, dating from their formation in the early solar system.
土星的光环和卫星都是一个多样化的群体，然而它们之间的区别也只有皮肤那么厚 。一项针对土星系统的新研究显示行星光环和卫星至少有一处相同的成分特征，即它们的表面均覆满了一层水冰，且它们的形成要追溯到太阳系早期 。
Researchers examined six years of Saturn observations from NASA's Cassini orbiter, which can detect ice as well as the colorful contaminants that obscure it, such as iron or hydrocarbons. The inner moons are largely devoid of such coloration, thanks to a fresh coat of icy material that spews out from the moon Enceladus. And the outer moons are dusted with dark stuff, which looks to be debris from Phoebe, a dark-colored lump of a moon.
研究人员研究了美国宇航局卡西尼号轨道飞行器对土星光环为期六年的观测，卡西尼号轨道飞行器能够探测出冰及遮住冰层的彩色污染物，例如铁和碳氢化合物 。内圈卫星一般缺少这样的颜色，这是因为土卫二会喷出冰状的物质形成新的保护层 。外圈卫星则嵌满了暗物质，看起来就像Phoebe——卫星上的黑色块状物上的岩屑 。
But underneath those surface differences is a uniform distribution of water ice, which seems to reflect the common origins of the moons and rings billions of years ago. The research appears in the Astrophysical Journal.
但在它们表面之下则统一分布着水冰，这似乎说明卫星和光环十多亿年前有着共同的起源 。这项研究发表在《天体物理学》杂志上 。
The rings and moons, polluted and tinted though they may be now, therefore appear to preserve a record of their beginnings, frozen in time and space.