June 7, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

Complete News World

The results of NASA’s study of Saturn’s rings will surprise more than one

Can you imagine Saturn without tiny rings? According to published studies NASAThese are not always and They may disappear soon. According to the space agency, the new research examines the mass of the rings, their “purity,” how quickly incoming debris is added and how it affects their changes over time.

Saturn’s rings are made entirely of pure ice. Less than a few percent of its mass is non-icy “contaminant” from micrometeoroids, such as asteroid fragments smaller than a grain of sand. These constantly collide with ring particles and contribute debris to the material around the planet.

Saturn captured by the Voyager 2 mission

Determining the age of the rings is difficult because scientists have not yet measured how long these explosions must have lasted. Now, one in three new studies gives a better idea of ​​the overall rate Arrival of non-frozen products So, how much it must have “contaminated” the rings since they formed.

The analysis also indicates that micrometeoroids are not arriving as quickly as scientists thought, meaning that Saturn’s gravity can pull material more effectively toward the rings. All this evidence indicates that the rings could not have been exposed to these cosmic hailstones for more than a few hundred million years.Saturn and a small fraction of the 4.6 billion years that the Solar System has existed.

A second paper that supports this conclusion takes a different view of the continued impact of rings by small space rocks. The authors of the study identified two aspects have been largely neglected in research.

specific, He studied the physics governing the long-term evolution of the rings They discovered that there are two main components: the bombardment of micrometeorites and the way debris from those collisions is distributed within the rings.

See also  Steam announces that it is withdrawing the free-to-play game from its catalog that was withdrawn 5 years ago

Taking these factors into account, the rings would have reached their current mass in a few hundred million years. As the results are very young, They most likely formed when unstable gravitational forces from the Saturn system eroded some of its icy moons.

Artist’s impression of the Cassini spacecraft flying through plumes from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus Photo: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

As NASA experts explain, The Cassini mission found that Saturn’s rings are also rapidly losing massMaterial falls onto the planet from the inner regions.

02/09/2023 NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope keeps track of Saturn every year, thanks to the Outer Planet Atmosphere Legacy (OPAL) project, and the dynamic gas giant always shows us something new. Research and Technology Policy NASA, ESA and AMY SIMON (NASA-GSFC);

A third paper measures for the first time the speed at which matter in the rings moves in this direction. Its collisions with particles in the ring and the resulting debris are thrown outwards They combine to form a sort of conveyor belt that carries the ring material toward Saturn.

Calculating what all that particle motion means for the planet’s eventual demise, the researchers come up with some hard news. Saturn: May lose its rings in the next hundreds of millions of years.

“I think these results tell us that the continuous bombardment of this foreign debris not only pollutes the planetary rings, but also diminishes them over time,” said Paul Estrada, an Ames researcher and co-author of the three studies. “The small, dark rings of Uranus and Neptune may be the result of that process. So the fact that Saturn’s rings are relatively thick and icy indicates its youth.”

See also  Steam brings its most significant update in years, and is freed from long-drag problems

Weather (Colombia)