Saturns's Rings

2 Sep 2017

The big story of the week is that Saturn's rings may be a relatively recent fixture. Gary sent in the link to ... It was assumed Saturn's rings go back to the early solar system, we are told, which belies the objectivity of relying on an assumption as this one was a false flag. It seems the rings of Saturn formed much more recently - the late dinosaur age is suggested, 100 million years ago. This is relatively recent in the history of the solar system - which is thought to go back 4.5 billion years ago. The Cassini Mission, now nearing it's end, has provided the relevant data which indicates a comet or an asteroid/moon may have come close to the planet and broke apart, forming the rings (which are composted of ice crystals and micro meteorites, with bigger chunks of rock dotted through the rings, some of which are even described as moonlets. However, it should be noted the date of the ring formation is also guesswork, and one needs to take the 100 million year age tag with a pinch of salt.

On 15th September (two weeks hence) Cassini will make a mission ending plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn. In the C ring, micro meteorites may date anywhere between 15 million years ago and 100 million years ago. Hence, we have a more nuanced kind of date - one that is open to revision as it covers such a wide range. In fact, the door seems to be open to a more recent date still, if one is prepared to ignore the obligatory add-on of the uniformitarian timescale.

At ... we have another look at the story with some interesting links to NASA and the BBC. We are told this is an early interpretation of the recent data gathered from Cassini by NASA.

William also sent in a link to the BBC, at .. and he takes note of the fact a comet might be involved, something he was saying about 40 years ago and apparently now confirmed.