Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind The Black by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Saturn’s core is a slushy mix of rocks and liquid

Saturn's rings
Click for more information.

Using archival data from the Cassini orbiter that mapped ripples in the rings of Saturn, scientists have produced a model of Saturn’s core that suggests it is a slushy soup that as it sloshes about shifts the gas giant’s gravitational field.

By using the famous rings like a seismograph, scientists studied processes in the planet’s interior and determined that its core must be “fuzzy.” Instead of a solid sphere like Earth’s, the core of Saturn appears to consist of a ‘soup’ of rocks, ice and metallic fluids that slosh around and affect the planet’s gravity.

…Not only does the planet’s core seem sludgy, it also appears to extend across 60% of the planet’s diameter, making it much larger than previously estimated. The analysis showed that Saturn’s core might be about 55 times as massive as the entire planet Earth. Of the total mass of the core, 17 Earth masses are made of ice and rock, with the rest consisting of a hydrogen and helium-based fluid, the study suggests.

The image above was taken in 2017, and shows both a density wave in the rings (the parallel lines in the center) caused by a Saturn moon, and numerous “propellers”, small distortions in the rings caused by slightly larger objects.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • MadRocketSci

    One of the more interesting presentations I saw at the 2018 APS confernce in Portland was a presentation on conductivity, and then superconductivity that’s induced in many types of matter under extreme (100 GPA+) pressures. The electron bubbles start to overlap, then certain transitions start taking place. Things like sulfur dioxide or sodium (my memory is swiss cheese so I may be wrong) can be made superconductive (briefly and precariously in diamond anvil cells.)

    If thee were a way to somehow hold onto matter under 200 GPa -ish of pressure, we could have superconductors that operate at room temperature.

    I think they’ve speculated in the past that Jupiter’s dynamo is due to metallic hydrogen – something else that they’ve managed to make (briefly and precariously, where it is nearly impossible to probe) in a diamond anvil cell. (Sudden reflectance characteristic of a plasma-frequency cutoff of free conductors, as in a metal.)

    In Saturn’s case, some of the “metal” might not be metal – just matter forced into a conductive state.

  • MadRocketSci

    My memory is swiss cheese – the induced superconductivity was at pressures even higher than diamond anvil cells can give you: They had to probe these states in devices that temporarily produced these pressures by detonating explosives. They might have called this stuff “Fermi Matter”, but – swiss cheese, sorry.

  • Jay

    You are correct, the metallic hydrogen is responsible for the dynamo on Jupiter. You only need three things to make a generator: a magnetic field, a conductive material, and movement of the two through each other. The hypothesis is the magnetic flux tube between Jupiter and Io is responsible for the volcanic forces on that moon (induction heating). That is a hell of a field!
    It has been many years since I read anything about super conductivity and did not know this concept of diamond anvil cells. Thank you, I will read up on this concept.

    At first when I read this article, I thought they were going to re-classify Saturn not as a gas-giant, but somewhere in-between a gas giant and an ice giant, due to increased size of the core and it’s contents.

  • Jeff Wright

    I wonder if a Dyson Harrop set up would work here, and/or skyhook. Titan has hydrocarbon seas that I want. Suppose I filled one Starship with fuel and an empty one close enough for Saturns gravity to yank it down and yank hydrocarbon filled coresupport off Titans surface, like a fountaining chain that just keeps going? Once the chain is in between, the indivdual cell ship train cars burn just enough to slingshot to Earth….all components plastic also made from Titans hydrocarbon seas. I think giant versions of chain fountains and drinking birds conjoined with orbital mechanics/skyhooks will fuel space industry.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.