May 5

Is there another “solar system” lurking in the Solar system, about to be swallowed up?

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The study is led by Dr. James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist from JAXA (Japan Space Agency), formerly a famous NASA scientist.

According to Bussiness Insider, images recently published by Dr. O’Donoghue show seven giant rings surrounding Saturn’s equator with a rhythmic motion. “In a way, this perimeter system is like a mini solar system. Objects near Saturn’s orbit rotate faster otherwise they will fall inward, while distant flaps could This is similar to planets in other star systems, “said Dr. O’Donoghue.

The Science Alert reports that the study also shows Saturn’s giant rings are spinning at an average speed of nearly 70 times the speed of sound, but each ring has its own speed, just like the eight planets. of the solar system rotates at 8 independent speeds. Saturn’s slowest ring is the outermost ring, which spins at 16.4 km / sec, slower than Saturn’s rotation speed. Meanwhile the inner ring can reach speeds of up to 23.2km / sec.

However, Saturn rings are extremely fragile. The total mass of the 7 rings is only 1 / 5,000 of the mass of our moon. Scientists suspect that the system may have originated from debris from some ancient moons or comets that came too close and broke apart. It is estimated that these belts only appeared 100 million years ago, at the same time as the golden age of the dinosaurs on Earth.

When they studied Saturn’s upper atmosphere, they also found that the rings are slowly being swallowed by the planet itself, with thousands of kilograms of belt material falling on the planet every second. Therefore, this mini “solar system”-like belt system is unlikely to last for more than 300 million years.


Tags

Saturn, Solar


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