Sunday, June 4, 2023

Scientists have revealed that the ‘rings of Saturn’ are much smaller than the planet

Rings of Saturn the stars, which formed about 400 million years ago, are exceptionally young, much younger than the planet itself, which is about 4.5 billion years old, according to a study published this Friday. Science Avengers.

work, led by the physicist Sasha kempFrom the University of Colorado In boulder has provided the strongest evidence to date Saturn’s rings are very young Which may answer a question that has puzzled scientists for more than a century.

“In a way, we’ve settled an issue that started with James Clerk Maxwell,” Kempf says.

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As Kempf recalls, almost constantly, small content grains rocky cross the Solar system, This dust is accumulating on planetary bodies and also on planetary ice. Saturn’s rings.

“Think of those rings as the rug in your house,” says Kempf. “If you have a clean carpet, you just have to wait. Dust will settle on the carpet. The same goes for rings.”

From 2004 to 2017, the team used a device called a cosmic dust analyzer From the NASA Cassini spacecraft to analyze Dust particles flying around Saturn.

Over 13 years, they collected only 163 grains that originated outside the planet’s near field. But it was enough. According to his calculations, it is likely Dust is settling on Saturn’s rings Only a few hundred million years, that is, they are “new events”, which appear and disappear (in cosmological terms) in the blink of an eye.

Now “we know roughly how old the rings are, but that doesn’t solve any of our other problems” because “we still don’t know how these rings form,” Kempf acknowledged.

Astronomers have been fascinated by these rings for more than 400 years.

In 1610, the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei first saw them through a telescope but did not know what they were and in which Siglo XIX, Maxwell, A Scottish scientist, came to the conclusion that the rings of Saturn may not be solid, but are made up of many separate pieces.

found out today Saturn hosts seven composite rings From the myriad pieces of ice that extend about 281,600 kilometers from the surface of the planet.

most twentieth-century Scientists speculate that the rings probably formed at the same time as Saturn, but this idea gives rise to some inconsistencies, such as Saturn’s rings shining brightly.

Observations suggest that they are composed of 98% water ice by volume and a small amount of rocky material.

but Cassini made it possible to put age of these rings, The spacecraft first reached Saturn in 2004 and collected data until it intentionally crashed into the planet’s atmosphere in 2017.

on his mission, he cosmic dust analyzer Which was shaped like a cube, picking up tiny particles as they whizzed past.

The team estimated that interplanetary dust would contribute less than a gram of dust to each square meter of the rings each year, a small amount but enough to accumulate over time.

Rings may be missing. In a previous study, Nasa scientists discovered that ice is slowly falling on the planet and speculated that it might disappear in about 100 million years.

For Kempf, the fact that these short-lived structures existed at a time Galileo And this Cassini spacecraft To be able to see them seems like a great stroke of luck.

Regarding their origin, some scientists have suggested that they could have formed when the planet’s gravity tore apart one of its moons, but Kempf believes further investigation is necessary because: ” If the rings have a short life and are dynamic, then what do we see now?” “It’s very lucky.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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