Saturn will lose its rings

Sat Is he The sixth planet of The Solar System Counting from the Sun Second in size and mass after JupiterAnd the only one Ring system visible from Earth. Now, a new investigation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has revealed this gas giant Voyager 1 and 2 are losing their iconic rings at the highest rate determined by the observations.

According to this system, there are rings Seeing the planet being pulled by the gas giant’s gravity in the form of a dusty shower of ice particles under the influence of its magnetic field. In fact, the lead author of the titled study Observations of the chemical and thermal reaction of ‘ring rain’ in Saturn’s ionosphere, James O’DonoghueHe said that publicly The water flow from the rings is enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in half an hour.

They will disappear in 300 million years.

“Full loop system at this rate It will disappear in 300 million years. The Cassini probe also provided us with data on Saturn’s equatorial ring. The average lifespan of these is fixed at only 100 million years. It is nothing more than the age of Saturn 4 billion years”, notes the analyst.

For years, scientists have raised the question If Saturn’s rings formed next to the planet or if its formation was later. This new research supports the latter scenario, The fact that they are over 100 million years old indicates that is unlikely.

What are Saturn’s rings?

However, O’Donoghue points out that we are lucky to be close See Saturn’s ring system, which seems to be in the middle of his career. However, if the rings are temporary, perhaps “We missed seeing giant ring systems on Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.

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Most of Saturn’s rings are water ice. Size variesfrom Fine dust grains to boulders several meters wide. In this way, the ring particles are caught in a balancing act between Saturn’s gravitational pull. It wants to attract them to the planet, its orbital speed, Who wants to throw them into space.

How do they work?

The smallest particles can be charged by ultraviolet light from the Sun or by plasma clouds emitted from the rings. By the time this happens, They can feel the pull of Saturn’s magnetic field. Also, in some parts of the rings, once the particles are charged, The balance of forces between the particles changes drasticallyAnd it’s the gravity of the planet that supposedly won the battle Pushing the particles into the planet’s upper atmosphere.

Key rings Passes 73,000 kilometers from Saturn. Although its thickness variesThey are typically 10 meters to 1 kilometer thick. Water ice is abundant 99% of the composition of the ring, And most snow flakes are only two inches in size.

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