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Goodbye to Saturn's rings | space

<! – ->              [embedded content] Saturn's wide iconic rings make this planet the telescopic showpiece of the solar system, but new research confirms the planet's rings are only temporary. The new work was published December 17, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Icarus . It describes a process whereby ice particles from the rings are being drawn by gravity onto Saturn, falling as a dusty ring rain . James O'Donoghue or NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is lead author of the new study. O'Donoghue said in a statement: We estimate that this 'rain rain' drains a quantity of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn's rings in half an hour. Saturn's rings consist of countless separate particles with sizes ranging from pea-sized to that of giant boulders. These particles are composed mainly of water ice, with a trace of rocky material. Saturn got its rings. Det er utroligt at Saturn dannet med ringene fra den store sky af gas og støv som også dannet vores sol og andre planeter, 4 1 /2 billion years ago. Or – as now seems more likely – the rings started out as the moon for Saturn that collided, or a moon that came too close (within Saturn's Roche limit) and was shattered by tidal forces. The new research favors the idea that the rings are recent and temporary. Like some previous studies, it suggests a much younger age for the rings than 4 1/2 billion years. The ring rain alone…

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Saturn’s wide iconic rings make this planet the telescopic showpiece of the solar system, but new research confirms the planet’s rings are only temporary. The new work was published December 17, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Icarus . It describes a process whereby ice particles from the rings are being drawn by gravity onto Saturn, falling as a dusty ring rain .

James O’Donoghue or NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is lead author of the new study. O’Donoghue said in a statement:

We estimate that this ‘rain rain’ drains a quantity of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn’s rings in half an hour.

Saturn’s rings consist of countless separate particles with sizes ranging from pea-sized to that of giant boulders. These particles are composed mainly of water ice, with a trace of rocky material. Saturn got its rings. Det er utroligt at Saturn dannet med ringene fra den store sky af gas og støv som også dannet vores sol og andre planeter, 4 1

/2 billion years ago. Or – as now seems more likely – the rings started out as the moon for Saturn that collided, or a moon that came too close (within Saturn’s Roche limit) and was shattered by tidal forces.

The new research favors the idea that the rings are recent and temporary. Like some previous studies, it suggests a much younger age for the rings than 4 1/2 billion years. The ring rain alone indicates that the rings will last no more than 300 million years, these scientists said. Earlier research suggested an even shorter timeframe for the rings, giving them less than 100 million years to live. O’Donoghue said:

We are lucky to be around to see Saturn’s ring system, which appears to be in the middle of its lifetime. Men, hvis ringene er midlertidige, kan vi bare gå glip af at se de enorme ringsystemer fra Jupiter, Uranus og Neptune, som har kun tynne ringlets i dag!

Artistens koncept om hvordan Saturn kan se ut i de neste hundre millioner år. Ifølge dette scenario, de indre ringene ville forsvinne først, når de regner på jorden. They would be followed more slowly by the outer rings. Image via NASA / Cassini / James O’Donoghue.

The first hints that a ring rain existed came from Voyager spacecraft observations in the early 1980s. Nu, ifølge en udtalelse fra NASA:

Ringpartikler er fanget i en balancerende handling mellem Saturns gravitation, som ønsker at tegne dem tilbage i verden, og deres orbitale velocity, som ønsker at flytte dem udadtil i rummet . Tiny particles can get electrically charged by ultraviolet light from the sun or by plasma clouds emanating from micrometeoroid bombardment of the rings. Når dette sker, kan partiklerne føle Saturns magnetfelt, som kurver in mot Saturns planet. In sum parts of the rings, once charged, the balance of forces on these tiny particles changes dramatically, and Saturn’s gravity pulls them along the magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere.

Once there, the icy ring particles vaporize and the water can react chemically with Saturn’s ionosphere. Één uitkomst van deze reacties is een toename in de levensduur van elektrisch geladen deeltjes genaamd H3 + ionen, die zijn gemaakt van drie protonen en twee elektronen. When energized by sunlight, the H3 + ions glow in infrared light, which was observed by O’Donoghue’s team using special instruments attached to the Keck telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Their observations revealed glowing bands in Saturn’s northern and southern hemispheres where The magnetic field lines that intersect the ring plane enter the planet. They analyzed the light to determine the amount of rain from the ring and its effects on Saturn’s ionosphere. De fantasier at de store regnvejrene var bemærkelsesværdigt godt med de forbavsende høje værdier der var afledt mere end tre år siden …

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The Cassini spacecraft – which orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017 – was scanned across Saturn on April 25, 2016, capturing three sets of red, green and blue images to show the planet and its main rings. Cassini was about 1.9 million miles (3 million km) from Saturn at the time. Image by NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute.

The team also found that one region in the south of Saturn was receiving the most of ring rain.

And they discovered a glowing band at a higher latitude in Saturn’s southern Hemisphere. This is where Saturn’s magnetic field intersects the orbit of the Saturn moon Enceladus, which was discovered by the Cassini spacecraft to be shooting geysers of water ice into space.

It’s been thought for some years that some of this material from Enceladus rains onto Saturn as well, and this new work confirms that moon rain exists as well.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus operates before the rings and the tiny moon Pandora in this view that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured on November 1, 2009. The entire scene is backlit by the sun, providing striking illumination for the icy particles that make up both the rings and the jets emanating from the south pole of Enceladus, which is about 314 miles (505 km) across. Pandora, which is about 52 miles (84 km) wide, was on the opposite side of the rings from Cassini and Enceladus when the image was taken. This view looks towards the night side on Pandora as well, which is lit by dim golden light reflected from Saturn. Image via NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute.

Bottom line: New research confirms the idea that the iconic rings of the planet Saturn are only temporary. A ring rain is apparently falling on Saturn, which, within some 100 to 300 million years, should cause the rings to disappear.

Source: Observations of the chemical and thermal response of ‘ring rain’ on Saturn’s ionosphere

Via NASA

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