Saturday, October 11

Saturn's rings

Saturn's Rings May be Remains of Ancient Moon (Source: New Scientist)
Why are Saturn's rings so spectacular? It could be that the planet managed to cling onto a moon when all the other gas giants in our solar system had already lost theirs. Today's rings formed when the moon was smashed up. Researchers suggest it was during the "late heavy bombardment", 700 million years after Saturn formed, that a chunk of debris collided with one of the planet's moons. so-Because the moon was orbiting at just the right distance from Saturn when it shattered - within the called Roche limit - the tiny pieces formed the rings instead of dispersing. (10/11)

1 comment:

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

Some of the images that have been produced in my lifetime (born 1958) have just *literally* taken my breath away.

This would qualify.