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Saturn is Losing Its Rings


Waspie_Dwarf
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA Research Reveals Saturn is Losing Its Rings at “Worst-Case-Scenario” Rate

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New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 & 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn’s magnetic field.

“We estimate that this ‘ring rain’ drains an amount of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn’s rings in half an hour,” said James O’Donoghue of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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I always thought Saturn was the coolest planet just for having rings.

First, Pluto's not a planet, now this! <_<

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New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 & 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn's magnetic field.

"We estimate that this 'ring rain' drains an amount of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn's rings in half an hour," said James O'Donoghue of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

"From this alone, the entire ring system will be gone in 300 million years, but add to this the Cassini-spacecraft measured ring-material detected falling into Saturn's equator, and the rings have less than 100 million years to live. This is relatively short, compared to Saturn's age of over 4 billion years." O'Donoghue is lead author of a study on Saturn's ring rain appearing in Icarus December 17.

Full monty: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181217120032.htm

At NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2018/ring-rain

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Maybe Saturn may be inhabitable sometime in the future.  If we're not here, maybe some life will start there on it's own.

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8 minutes ago, paperdyer said:

Maybe Saturn may be inhabitable sometime in the future.

This one takes the cake. Splendid, just splendid.

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And why?  Just because it's not habitable now doesn't mean it can't be in the distant future.

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9 minutes ago, paperdyer said:

And why?  Just because it's not habitable now doesn't mean it can't be in the distant future.

Do you know what a gas planet is?

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On 12/18/2018 at 5:36 AM, Likely Guy said:

I always thought Saturn was the coolest planet just for having rings.

First, Pluto's not a planet, now this! <_<

Guys, nobody tell him about the Great Red Spot on Jupiter disappearing as well...

2 hours ago, toast said:

Do you know what a gas planet is?

Well, there is the (whimsical) idea about floating organism possibly inhabiting some layers of gas giants, I assume they mean that. 

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There are many other ''rocks'' which get captured by Saturn's strong gravity so it will ''grow'' again, no doubt. Also, Enceladus does a lot with it's water plumes.

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