Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturn's Rings : Did Saturn Eat one of its' Moons?

Tim Sayell sends in a Yahho News article that really puts a new spin on the formation of Saturn's complex ring system. A new theory on the formation of the Saturn ring system is published in the latest issue of Nature. It seems that researchers have uncovered evidence that a disk of hydrogen gas once surrounded Saturn. This long lost gas ring seems to be evidence that there was once one more moon orbiting Saturn that at present. Some 4.5 billion years ago, this mystery moon was pulled down to its' distruction by Saturn. As the moon spiraled in, Saturn stripped off outer layers of ices that now make up the rings. This really puts present theories in question that the rings formed by moons coliding and breaking up. But with a large gas ring in place there is every possibility that there may have been many more larger close in moons around Saturn. The gas would eventually slow the moons and force them out of orbit.

Read the rest of the facinating article here

No comments: