Saturn’s Rings Are Disappearing At A Fast Rate As They’re Pulled Into The Planet

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Saturn is one of the most admired planets in our solar system, but now, there’s a brand new study which suggests that it might lose its beauty.

The planet’s rings could be eventually gone. The study has been published in the Journal Icarus and it says that Saturn, the only planet in the solar system that has such a large ring system might lose its rings.

Saturn’s rings are pulled into the planet

The rings are made from particles of ice and they are being pulled into the planet at a high rate. The scientists say that at this rate they could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every half an hour and they even came up with a name for it ”ring rain”.

This would mean that the whole ring system of Saturn could be gone in …300 million years, so we won’t be here to witness this. For us, this sounds a really long time, but in the scale of planets, it’s just a blink of an eye.

This finding is quite important because it could help of shedding light on the age of this ring system that surrounds Saturn.

The rings might have formed during Saturn’s lifetime

Scientists are not sure at the moment if they are really old or if they formed later during the planet’s lifetime. They could have formed by small moons that collided.

If these rings were to disappear completely, this would suggest that they formed later and millions of years ago the planet might have been even more amazing than it is today.

“The young age of the rings has some really startling implications. It is possible, in the age of the dinosaurs, that Saturn’s rings were even larger and brighter than we see them today,” said Tom Stallard, associate professor in planetary astronomy at the University of Leicester and co-author of the paper.

Anyway, he still thinks that we’re really lucky because we get to see the rings as they are these days.


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