• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

New study reveals Saturn didn’t always have rings, it was once ringless

|

Washington, Jan 22: A new study now suspect that the iconic hula-hoop of icy particles encircling Saturn is a relatively new addition.

New study reveals Saturn didn’t always have rings it was once ringless

Scientists have used this last information to make the first accurate estimate of the amount of material in the planet's rings, and it is about 40 percent of the mass of Saturn's moon Mimas. Mimas is already 2,000 times smaller than Earth's moon.

The Cassini spacecraft that was orbiting Saturn is no more, but before it expired it took a loop between the planet and its rings, acting as a gravity probe and uncovering data about the composition of the rings.

This indicates that Saturn's distinctive rings are a relatively recent development as ring mass is correlated with ring age, meaning that the rings are certainly less than 100 million years old and perhaps as young as 10 million years old.

Scientists had debated whether the rings were formed from icy debris at the same time as the planet, 4.5 billion years ago, or whether the rings were younger and were formed when Saturn's gravity captured a comet or a Kuiper Belt object and pulverized it into rocks which orbited the planet. Now the evidence is in that Saturn was ring-less for a considerable time after its formation, and the rings were a later addition.

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more