Lord of the rings

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brian livesey
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

Lord of the rings

Post by brian livesey »

Until very recently it was thought that Saturn’s rings were formed when the gas giant formed some four billion years ago. Now, Cassini data is being analysed indicating that the rings have been gathering dust for only a few hundred million years.
Grains of cosmic dust travel through the Solar System and attach themselves to the ice in Saturn’s rings. The rate of build up of this dust on the rings indicates that the rings are much younger than the planet.
Sasha Kempf an associate professor in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder in the. US, said: “Think about the rings like a carpet in your home. If you have a clean carpet laid out, you just have to wait. Dust will settle on your carpet. The same is true for the rings.”
The research is published in the journal SCIENCE ADVANCES and provides evidence that Saturn’s rings “are remarkably young”. The Cassini probe revealed in detail what an elegant gas giant Saturn is.
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