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15th May 2023 (7 Topics)

Study pegs age of Saturn's rings at 400 million years old

Context

Researchers have pegged the planet Saturn's rings' age at no more than 400 million years old, potentially answering a question that has boggled scientists for well over a century.

Key Highlights of the New Study

  • It has delivered the strongest evidence yet that Saturn's rings are remarkably young, much younger than Saturn itself, which is about 4.5 billion years old.
  • The findings shed light on the formation and evolution of Saturn's ring system, providing valuable insights into the dynamic processes that shape planetary systems

About the Planet

  • Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest planet in the solar system.
  • Like fellow gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is a massive ball made mostly of hydrogen and helium.
  • Saturn is not the only planet to have rings, but none are as spectacular or as complex as Saturn's. Saturn also has dozens of moons.
  • Current and Past Missions
    • Cassini - NASA/ESA Mission to Saturn
    • Huygens - NASA/ESA Mission to Saturn's satellite Titan
    • Voyager 1 - NASA Mission to Jupiter and Saturn
    • Voyager 2 - NASA Mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and beyond
    • Pioneer 11 - NASA Saturn flyby (1979)

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