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Saturn’s Rings

25 November 2023

William sent in the link https://www.yahoo.com/news/did-saturns-rings-form-icy-181500953.html … but see also https://phys.org/news/2023-05-saturn-magnificent.html … a new study suggests the rings of Saturn were formed between 400 and 100 million years ago. They are composed mostly of water ice   which shines by scattering sun light. Mixed with the ice are dust particles – mostly tiny grains of rocky, metallic, or carbon rich material swept up from space. This is a dark colour and can easily be seen as an element of the rings. They are classified as micro meteorites – when entering our atmosphere. Basically, the same space debris that enters earth’s atmosphere, creating shooting stars as they burn up. This infall is thought to add to earth’s mass and the same is probably true of the other planets. Saturn is 9 to 10 times the size of the earth and therefore it is a much bigger target and will hoover up much more dust and debris. This is why the rings possess it as they capture it on the way  through.

The rings extend from 2000km above Saturns clouds out to 80,000 km away. The rings are enormous affairs yet  are said to be slowly declining in stature. This is because it rains material from the rings on to the atmosphere below. Electromagnetism produces charged ice and dust as seen by Voyager I and II back in the 1980s, and more recently by the Cassini Mission.

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