Saturn loses its iconic rings at a "worst case scenario" rate, NASA's new research has revealed.
The gas giant could lose its rings in less than 100 million years, which is relatively short considering the planet is over 4 billion years old.
This conclusion is based on estimates from the observations of Voyager 1 & 2 – robotic probes launched by the Space Agency to study the outer solar system – decades ago.
The rings are pulled by gravity in Saturn as "a dusty rain of ice particles under the magnetic field of the planet".
"We estimate that this" ring rain "drains off a lot of water products that could fill an Olympic swimming pool from Saturn's rings Half an hour," said James O'Donoghue of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland , USA.
"Alone of this, the entire ring system will have disappeared in 300 million years. Spacecraft measured ring material He noted that he fell into the equator of Saturn, and the rings have not yet 1
Where did Saturn get his rings?
There are several theories, speculating where the planet got its belts, which are mostly composed According to NASA, water ice varies in size from microscopic grains to boulders several meters in diameter.
This new research supports the idea that the planet would get them later in life – the rings could have formed small and icy moons collided in orbit around Saturn, possibly because their orbits were interrupted by a gravity hauler passing by a passing asteroid or comet.
"We are lucky to see the ring system of Saturn, which seems to be in the middle of his lifetime, but if the rings are only temporary, Maybe we just overlooked the huge ring systems of Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, which today have only thin curls! "O & # 39; Donoghue concluded with the conclusion.
I just missed seeing huge ring systems of Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune that today have only thin curls! "