Saturn devouring his own ring. Surrounding the planet will soon disappear

Worked in the orbit of Saturn nearly 20 years of a space probe NASA "Cassini" even in the last moments of his life did not cease to transmit to Earth amazing facts about the gas giant. After analyzing the next portion of the information collected, the researchers found that the inner rings of the planet, the ones that are closest to the planet's atmosphere, in the near future (on space standards) time may disappear entirely. Matter rings actively "devoured" the very atmosphere of the planet. This was reported in an article published in the journal Science.

Saturn devouring his own ring. Surrounding the planet will soon disappear

Immersing the apparatus in the last stage of its work in an atmosphere of Saturn, scientists have hoped to ascertain the nature of occurrence of gas giant magnetic field, as well as its interaction feature with accumulations of gas and dust, which consists of rings of the planet. His last minute "Cassini" spent in a particular area within the Saturnian atmosphere where there exotic "rain" from microdroplets of water and dust particles, gradually falling from Saturn rings closest to it.

"It turned out that Saturn's rings are not just" drizzle ", falling into the planet's atmosphere and generate a real downpour. Ice, water droplets and dust are moving so fast that every second of Saturn "consumes" about 10-45 tons of rings of matter ", - commented on Astronomer Hunter White of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder (USA).

The existence of rain, scientists suspected as early as the 80s. the data on it were obtained apparatus "Voyager", flew by the gas giant, but until the very end of the mission "Cassini", scientists were not sure that this continuous flow of dust and water generated by the ring, and not by the internal processes in the bowels of the planet . Dive into the atmosphere of the unit proved their nature, and allowed to find out what they are made. It turned out that on the structure of the ring are very similar to the matter of comets. Researchers found that they contain a large amount of organic matter, oxygen and ammonia entering into complex reactions in the atmosphere during the fall. Furthermore, it was found that the volume of these particles is substantially higher than those amounts which are predicted cosmological models describing their device.

Based on the data, the researchers concluded that next to the planet ring (D and C) to disappear soon. If we talk about the ring D, then it is estimated there are only 7-60 researchers thousands of years. The ring may entirely disappear if the substance C ring, it will not feed. In the ring C is a few times more, but by space standards, it will disappear very quickly too - by 700 thousand, or 7 million years, depending on the scenario.

Such findings suggest that the presence of rings in the world can be fickle.

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