Saturn's rings are relatively young. There has even been a time when Saturn did not have the rings. Scientists at the US space agency NASA came to that conclusion after studying the rings.
& # 39; Solo & # 39; 10 to 100 million years ago the rings were created. At that time, the dinosaurs were still on the ground. Saturn, like Earth, is about 4,600 million years old. This means that the planet has existed for a time without rings.
NASA scientists have made measurements with the Cassini probe, which spent years researching Saturn and was absorbed by the planet in 2017. During its last dives, the satellite passed through the rings and Saturn's atmosphere.
The severity of Saturn and the rings went to Cassini. This changed the position of the probe. Cassini could measure that to a fraction of a millimeter. With this you could calculate the weight of the rings and that indicated something about the age of the rings.
Scientists thought differently about the old rings.
Until now, there was some confusion about the age of the rings. Some scientists said that they were quite young, others thought that the rings had originated with Saturn.
Possibly a comet millions of years ago approached Saturn and broke into pieces. Those fragments would have entered into orbit around Saturn like rings. It is also possible that a Saturnian moon has collapsed sometime.
Saturn's rings are slowly disappearing.
Saturn's rings are disappearing. At the end of last year, it seemed that they would have disappeared in no more than 300 million years. It is possible that even more than 100 million years. Then, the researchers said that every half hour an Olympic water puddle was drawn from the rings.
The planets Uranus, Jupiter and Neptune also have rings. They consist of ice water, stones and dust.