NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ist currently orbiting the runden system des Saturn. It has been on an extended aufgabe since 2008 and amazingly continues zu send back advanced data on Saturn, its moons and extensive ring system. The runden system has actually proved most amazing as it consists of myriads von ringlets, moonlets composed von dust and icy rocks. It operates as in accretion disk v primordial matter, ice and micro debris. What is most interesting zu sein that the rings are notfall as steady as they have appeared. Originally, the rings were observed von the Voyager mission when it passed by Saturn (1980-1981), but a comparison with die Cassini bild has revealed good differences in almost all die rings, especially the F-ring, over the period des less than thirty years. Thus, in a reasonably short period of time die vast changes an the rings schutz shown spectacular morphologies.1

The changes in the rings von Saturn have completely overturned the classical picture des a steady system. Ns current study of the massive runden system has created evidence des gravitational resonance, but, much more importantly and stunning, ist the finding von the “F-ring” having actually a strangely, continuously an altering pattern, native helical formations to propeller-like mini-spokes. Some researchers even glauben that die rings room producing klein moonlets from ns collisions of fragments the exist bei and around the rings, especially die F-ring which exists an the Roche limit, a suggest where the gravitational tug from ns planet could tear a larger moon apart. Again, the rings are made of staubig ice, bei the form of boulder-sized and smaller chunks that often collide v each other as castle orbit Saturn. Saturn’s gravitational field constantly disrupts these eis chunks, causing, and preventing them from forming moons. Saturn, itself, has die most moons of any von the planets in our solar system, end 60 objects of this type, but they are mostly outside the more familiar inner ring system with just a few in the area of the A- und B-rings, an ext towards die F-ring, but die majority lying bei the G- and E-rings and beyond. One more question ist the age des the rings. They may be as old as 4.4 exchange rate years, but if castle are dafür old why space they changing deswegen rapidly? did they constantly do this or ist there something new taking place?


This indicates that Saturn holds one of the hints to ns next phase des our solar system’s evolutionary future. The zuerst part of this quote was confirmed in the exact same words von Lika Guhathakurta des NASA headquarters in Washington dc that our sun ist “a variable star.” 3 Thinking prefer that was unheard of before 2010 wie man observations von variations bei the sun’s magnetic field were noted von NASA.

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Additionally, some research scientists (e.g., MGS MOC relax No. MOC2-297, 6 December 2001) oase recently considered that Mars itself is going with climate change.4 so all planets might be experiencing some changes, the may nur be much more obvious within Saturn’s rings und possibly ns polar regions von Mars.

It ist fortunate that we have a 30-year compare made von Voyager (1980-81) native colleagues at JPL und the team von Dr. Jim Warwick in Colorado. Deswegen why are the rings revolving und changing right into strange patterns? Theories ausblüten abound. The answer to these deeper questions may lie an the natur of ns outer planets and especially how ns rings us seem to oase rain affecting Saturn’s ionosphere.5 Saturn’s moon Rhea may so have rings approximately it, although this has not been confirmed. Die rings of Saturn themselves although varying in width are very thin, varying from around 30 feet (10 meters) zu several kilometers thick at most. Ns rings have slight pink, grey and brown colors early to the presence of staubig material blended with die water ice.

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A definite change in the appearance of the rings ist at work. Whatever ns result von the new research, store looking upward weil das we space about kommen sie learn much more valuable die info about how Saturn’s rings, and how its planets and moons, room forming and evolving together a miniature solar system.



1. Cassini-Huygens, Dougherty, M.K.; Esposito, L.W.; Krimigis, S.M. (Ed.) (2009)“Origin und Evolution des Saturn’s ring System” chapter 17 of the publication Saturn after ~ Cassini-Huygens pp. 537-575.http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/ papers/0912/0912.3017.pdf

3. Solar Dynamics Observatory: the ‚Variable Sun‘ pflicht http://science.nasa.gov/ science-news/science-at-nasa/ 2010/05feb_sdo/

4. Malin space Science systems “MOC Observes Changes in the south Polar Cap:Evidence zum Recent Climate readjust on Mars”MGS MOC relax No. MOC2-297, 6 December 2001, http://www.msss.com/mars_ images/moc/CO2_Science_rel/

5. Blame that on ns Rain (from Saturn’s Rings) NASA, http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ news.php?release=2013-130

For more pictures see:http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/ wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ albers-unexpected-surprises. Pdf