Formation of original Saturn rings is not easy. What are the age indicators of Saturn’s “ring”?

Regarding the eight planets of the solar system, each one has its own unique logo, for example: Saturn “ring”. As a gas giant with a diameter and mass second only to Jupiter, Saturn also has a special name called Cronian. There are many doubts about Saturn. Is it easy to make a broad Saturn ring system? What key indicators suggest the true age of Saturn’s “ring”?

The Saturn ring, which extends nearly 30 kilometers (from the tip of the ring to the tip), contains countless icy particles of varying sizes. This is one of the most enduring mysteries in planetary science. It is not just a “decoration”. Is this a basic feature of the solar system? 4.5 billion years ago, the theoretical collision created what we see now? These answers are not only for understanding planetary rings, but are especially important for scientists rebuilding the history of the solar system. According to Cassini’s measurements of ring mass and brightness, many scientists believe that these rings should be very young.

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Making such a vast Saturn ring system is not easy

Regarding Saturn’s ring, there are many convincing arguments that Saturn’s ring is not young. Facts have proved that it is not easy to create such a wide ring system in relatively recent time. Planets can attract and disperse passing comets and even whole comet fragments into ring structures. Of course, there is another possibility, that is, an intertwined object that breaks into one of Saturn ’s moons, forming a ring from the splattered moon. Although these inferences may seem simple, each customized solution has its own special requirements.

After a scientific investigation, although these are very good ideas, how many comets are flying around the solar system, and you do not have enough conditions to make this happen. At least in the past hundreds of millions of years, the probability of such a setting occurring is only a few percent. At this time, scientists began to assume that the entire process did not involve the comet. The mother of the “ring” is not the external Saturn system, but entirely from the inside. Matija? Uk of the SETI Institute and other researchers discovered that when the planet was in cross-orbit with the satellite, something unexpected happened: about 100 million years ago, in this computer model that traces the satellite ’s orbit Everything in it deviates slightly from its original trajectory. The satellite was pushed down into Saturn ’s orbit. Although these trajectories have not been observed today, simulated data shows that it happened.

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What happened in the modeling is different from our observation

Unlike what we have observed, their orbits are more impacted into Saturn ’s equatorial plane. Early satellite systems must be rearranged into the systems we see today, which means that the current satellites must be younger, so they have not experienced everything that happened in the modeling. Later work finally discovered that the main reason that may cause rearrangement is the seemingly distant sun. Even at such a long distance, it is easy for the sun’s gravity to disrupt the planet’s movement. It is the sun’s weak gravity that caused its collision with its siblings. Then, a ring ten times larger than it is now formed, and some of them even gathered to form new satellites.

This series of assumptions and inferences seems to be reasonable, but there is no explanation for how the matter generated by these fragments forms a ring. Because, to achieve this, a necessary condition is required, that is, the distance between the colliding debris and Saturn must be close enough so that the planet ’s gravitational force can be kept from being dispersed, and naturally cannot be the distance between the formation and life of the satellite Farther away. That is: how to obtain material from these collisions, and then return to the ring-shaped low orbit, and how does this material become ice?

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Simulating ancient ring collisions is more convincing

Relatively speaking, in practice, old rings are much easier to make. When planets entered their current positions billions of years ago, they were in the solar system shaking small objects in them, with no stable targets. At this time, some ancient catastrophes took place, and the results of these events decorated the world without rings before. When the rate of dark dust falling on the ring changes with time, if the basic assumption about the ring darkening is wrong, then the ring may be original and have a supernatural bright luster.

Although the impact between the icy ring particles and the dust is high, it may not be enough to color the Saturn ring as scientists think, which means that the deposited shadow will be less than expected. Simulating island-like circular collisions should be more convincing. When the initial mass of the debris is higher than the debris in the current loop, then it will face rapid diffusion and dissipation. Some of them fell into Saturn, others fell into rings and moons.

In this case, whether your mass is 1x or 10x that of Mimas, because time is over billions of years, basic orbital dynamics can show that for the exact amount of materials we see today , It can almost be solved. In short, if such a collision has been propagated for 4 billion years, then the exact quality one would expect is exactly equivalent to these rings.

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What key indicators can imply the age of the “ring”

The controversy about the origin of Saturn ’s rings can be traced back decades, these data are mainly the close-range exploration of Voyager 1 and 2 missions. The observations suggest that these rings are light enough to retain their light in the billions of years of the solar system. In addition, Cassini’s carefully measured ring quality is very close to the Voyager number.

Another key indicator of age is: passing by the spacecraft and the ring, scooping up dust and other particles, helping to estimate how many dark fragments are submerged, these data further suggest that the ring is very young, Saturn ’s water ice The ring is still bright white, although it is constantly brushed away by scattered dark fragments (debris scattered by decaying objects in the outer solar system).

We have no evidence that these rings have been contaminated. At the same time, these rings are continually spraying ice particles into the atmosphere while absorbing materials. If it takes a time to visualize the forecast, then such showers may completely consume these rings within 300 million years. It may be possible to explain them for 4.5 billion years, and some ideas are currently not explainable.

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The past and future observed in the evolution and reconstruction of Saturn’s ring system

The long-term evolution and origin of Saturn is an unsolved problem in modern planetary science. The “Traveller Age” shows that Saturn’s ring does not exceed 100My, and its diffusion ring system is also considered to be caused by the loss of material from one or even multiple satellites. s consequence. Time comes to the “Cassini era”, some of which have made progress due to spectral resolution and high spatial data, such as the discovery of the “propeller” in the A ring, and the shape of the moon embedded in a ring.

Perhaps, to solve the mystery of Saturn, the field of planetary dynamics is a feasible solution. Through the simulation of gravitational interaction, we can reconstruct the past and even the future observed today; or through the laboratory to the dark dust and the cold The inspection of high-speed collisions of particles can finally determine the color and iciness of the dust; or the craters on the surface of Saturn need to be analyzed in more detail, in this way to better determine their true age.

After 20 years of exploration, numerical simulation has also become more advanced. Understanding the formation of the ring provides a clearer background for our understanding of the solar system. These factors are of great significance to us, strengthening the view of Saturn’s ring dynamics and rapid development. Scientists are temporarily unable to agree on the formation and size of the ring. Although there are various predictions and interpretations that are not consistent, the path of exploration has become interesting.

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