Astronomy

Facts about the Rings of Saturn



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Saturn is a planet with striking rings.Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer was the pioneer who looked at Saturn through the telescope. He viewed the pair of objects on both side of Saturn. He drew them as individual spheres of the planet Saturn; he described Saturn as triple-featured planet. Galileo began to wonder about his sanity due to the disappearance and reappearance of Saturn's rings.

According to one astronomical recent report, Saturn's rings vanish every 14 years from  Earth's view. Saturn's rings reappear few years later in our Earth's view.

In 1659,  Christian Huygens, a Dutch Astronomer used a more powerful telescope than Galileo's telescope to view the planet Saturn. He suggested that Saturn has a thin ring, surrounding it.

In 1675, Jean-Dominique Cassini found a division which is currently known as A and B rings, which is caused by Saturn's moon Mimosa's gravitational power.

Saturn's rings are vast and intricate that extend an enormous distance. In the early 1980s, NASA's  two Voyager spacecrafts showed that Saturn's ring is made of water-based ice. The spacecrafts discovered " braided rings" and "spoke" the dark features in the rings, which travel at varied speeds than the outer rings of Saturn. Matters in the rings differ regarding the size from micro meters to many meters. The fainter rings have been found recently.

The formation of the Saturn's rings might have been caused by the remnant material after the genesis of the planet Saturn. According to another astronomical view , Saturn's rings were formed due to the shattering of one of Saturn's icy moon.

The fast wind and the rising heat from the interior of the Saturn cause the visibility of gold and yellow rings in the atmosphere. Saturn's two small moons orbit within the gap between Saturn's  rings.

Its ring system resides within the planet's magneto sphere and its magneto sphere is an area where electrically charged matter is affected by the magnetic field rather than by the solar wind.

The age of the Saturn's rings is a matter of debate. It can be as old as the solar system, like 4.6 billion years. According to some astronomers, the matters of the Saturn's ring seem to be clean enough to have formed 100 million years ago.

Saturn's rings may be regarded as cosmic magician with the illusion of vanishing performance; its axis tilts. Saturn takes 29  years to orbit around the Sun. Some times Saturn's ring fully open and its ring's edge is visible only ,  some times creating the illusion of a vanishing act.

NASA's Cassini mission's  goal involve in  understanding the formation of the Saturn's rings, the traveling speed of the rings and the reason for the existence of the rings.

The rings are a superb and spectacular cosmic puzzle for star struck amateurs as well as professional astronomers. It's time to return from the Saturn's rings to our blue planet in our virtual space ship.

sources: solarsystem.nasa.gov
                 science.nationalgeographic.com 

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