Saturn with no rings? It could happen, and sooner than astronomers expected

Saturn's rings could vanish much sooner than expected

"We estimate that this "ring rain" drains an amount of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn's rings in half an hour", said James O'Donoghue of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Based on that current rate, and research carried out by the Cassini spacecraft, the rings have less than 100 million years to live.

Apparently, the planet's gravitational pull is bringing the ice fields down towards the surface, in a near-constant bombardment of icy rain.

Their origins have always been debated among scientists. "This is relatively short, compared to Saturn's age of over four billion years".

According to the research team, the rate of ring decay is more consistent with the earlier hypothesis - that is, an age of about 100 million years - because that's how long it would take the planet's C ring to become as thin as it is, assuming it was once as dense as the B ring.

Nintendo Switch is America's fastest-selling console
The company did share promising news, that being that Nintendo hardware unit and dollar sales are their highest annual since 2011. Ultimate were sold in the first 11 days following its release in the U.S. , making it the fastest-selling Switch title to date.

Lenovo Z5s With Triple Rear Camera Setup and Snapdragon 710 Now Official
Much like the newly launched McLaren Edition of the OnePlus 6T , the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT also has a carbon fiber design at the back. It still runs Android 8.1 Oreo with ZUI 5.0 out of the box and packs a 3,500mAh battery with support for 18W fast-charging.

WWE Raw preview: Vince McMahon to shake things up
When Daniel Bryan was cleared for in-ring competition earlier this year he left behind his role as SmackDown Live General Manager. Most wrestling fans are just as confused as Paige, but the support for the SmackDown GM has been nearly universal.

"We are lucky to be around to see Saturn's ring system, which appears to be in the middle of its lifetime", O'Donoghue said. Data the spacecraft beamed back showed that, while that region of space around the planet was fairly devoid of matter, it also revealed that Saturn's gravity was dragging particles from the inner edge of the ring down into the atmosphere.

During the final plunge, Cassini's Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer acted as the "nose" of the spacecraft, directly sampling the composition and structure of the atmosphere. When this happens, the particles can feel the pull of Saturn's magnetic field, which curves inward toward the planet at Saturn's rings. The rate of loss was further refined by Cassini, which completed its mission by plummeting through Saturn's rings in September past year.

"While [the spectrometer] was created to investigate gases, we were able to measure the ring particles because they hit the spacecraft at such high velocities they vaporized", said Hunter Waite, principal investigator for the spectrometer on Cassini's nose. All, however, seem to be transpiring faster than scientists thought-dropping as much as 22,000 pounds of material per second.

Once there, the icy ring particles vaporize and the water can react chemically with Saturn's ionosphere. But, like everything in the Universe, they're not going to last forever - and now planetary scientists have discovered that they're disappearing at an incredibly fast rate.

"At some point they gradually drain away unless somehow they're getting new material". O'Donoghue and his co-authors didn't include that infall in the estimates presented in their paper, but suggested in an accompanying statement that the two phenomena combined could gorge through the rings in more like 100 million years. And this gas giant has a volume that's a hulking 700 times that of our own planet. The team at NASA is looking to see how the ring rain will change with the seasons on Saturn.

Related:

  • Actress, director Penny Marshall dies at 75

    Actress, director Penny Marshall dies at 75

    A publicist for Marshall said the actress died Monday "peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home" from complications due to diabetes. His father, Carl, was one of the stars on Your Show of Shows , and he was the most famous person in the neighborhood.
    Trump pressures Fed ahead of expected rate hikes

    Trump pressures Fed ahead of expected rate hikes

    The exception was in the 1970s, when the Fed ignored market turmoil to combat inflation that was running at 7 percent a year. Stocks summarily slid into a 10 percent correction and the Fed chair delayed more hikes for a year.
    Discovered: The most-distant solar system object ever observed

    Discovered: The most-distant solar system object ever observed

    The Kuiper belt ends at a distance of about 50 astronomical units, and the space beyond that was thought to be largely empty. Knowing a planet's orbit can tell us a great deal about its history and even hint at other worlds waiting to be discovered.
  • Manchester United line up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace sacked Mourinho

    Manchester United line up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace sacked Mourinho

    After retiring, the Norwegian was appointed as United's reserve-team boss before joining Molde as manager in 2010. United sacked manager Jose Mourinho on Tuesday after having suffered their worst start to a season for 28 years.
    Meghan Markle lit a distinctly rounded belly in a sparkling outfit

    Meghan Markle lit a distinctly rounded belly in a sparkling outfit

    Afterwards, Jo recalled to Hello! about her greeting with Meghan: "I said congratulations and she thanked us". Prince Harry made his debut in 2015, while it was his wife's very first time at the event.
    Man arrested for trying to pay for McDonald's meal with weed

    Man arrested for trying to pay for McDonald's meal with weed

    That's when an officer made contact with him and noticed a heavy odor of marijuana coming from his auto . - Police said a 23-year-old man tried to trade a bag of marijuana for fast food at McDonald's .
  • Lasith Malinga picked up in IPL auction

    Lasith Malinga picked up in IPL auction

    IPL 2019 Auctions: Uncapped Varun Chakravarthy Sold to Kings XI Punjab for 8.4 Crore, Jaydev Unadkat Returns to Rajasthan Royals . On Tuesday, the Royals lapped him up him after a bidding battle with Kings XI Punjab , Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals .
    Taliban say they're meeting US officials again on Monday

    Taliban say they're meeting US officials again on Monday

    The terse statement from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the meeting would be held Monday without offering details. The Taliban refer to their movement as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and dismiss the Kabul government as a US puppet.
    IPL 2019 Auction: Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite earn big

    IPL 2019 Auction: Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite earn big

    Indian all-rounder Jaydev Unadkat , who was bought for Rs 11.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals , will also feature in the same bracket. As a right-arm medium-pacer and left-handed batsman, Dube has played six first-class games, 18 List A games and 13 T20 games.
  • Six Chiefs selected to NFL Pro Bowl

    Six Chiefs selected to NFL Pro Bowl

    The NFL Pro Bowl will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Through 14 games, Roberts leads the National Football League in both kick return yards (912) and punt return average (14.9).
    White Sox acquire 1B Alonso in trade with Indians

    White Sox acquire 1B Alonso in trade with Indians

    He hit.248 between stops at Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham last season, with 12 home runs, 28 doubles and 58 RBIs. The Indians, who are trying to gain payroll flexibility, have traded Yan Gomes, Encarnacion, Diaz and Alonso since November 30.
    United Nations  climate talks agree on reporting emissions

    United Nations climate talks agree on reporting emissions

    She argued all countries should immediately produce new emissions targets that are consistent with the 1.5 C goal. Among these issues is how to create a functioning carbon credit market.

Comments

Latest news

Samsung Galaxy S10 will have a smaller cutout than the A8s
The dimensions are not available for the Galaxy S10 Lite, but the rumors claim that the phone will include a 5.8-inch display. The S10 Lite will have dual rear cameras while the other models will be equipped with triple camera sensors on the rear.

Mets sign C Wilson Ramos to 2-year deal
Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos singles in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals on August 27, 2018 in Philadelphia. He spent time with both the Rays and Phillies , hitting.306/.358/.487 (130 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 15 homers and 70 RBI.

Manchester United sack Mourinho after loss against Liverpool, abysmal start to season
Only last month, Rodgers rubbished reports of him leaving the Glasgow side, saying: "I love my life here at Celtic as the manager".

Govt shutdown threat remains as US Democrats reject Trump bid
More important, that tariff would be paid by those who purchase cars in the United States, not the government of Mexico. Pelosi said the path forward remained unclear, and that a stopgap " continuing resolution ", or CR, might be required.

Former NASA engineer gets revenge on porch pirates with glitter bomb
And as if that was not enough, there was also a fart spray hidden in the package that triggered itself automatically five times. The video was uploaded yesterday and already has over 6 million views. and is the #1 trending video on YouTube!

Miley Cyrus goes braless throughout her SNL efficiency
In the SNL afterparty, the 26-year-old Miley Cyrus sported a black pantsuit with no bra underneath. I have no doubt this is the best cover of this Ariana Grande song anybody has done.

Rabiot set for PSG exit after cancelling contract talks
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Antero Henrique has confirmed that midfielder Adrien Rabiot is likely to leave the club.

US President Donald Trump's troubled charity foundation to shut down
Among examples of improperly used funds is the allegation that the charity spent $10,000 on a giant painting of Trump himself. The foundation was established by Donald Trump well before he ran for president.

Alfonso Ribeiro sues Fortnite creators for stealing his beloved Carlton dance
Business and entertainment lawyer Merlyne Jean-Louis said lawsuits regarding ownership of these dance moves can be tricky. In Fortnite , purchasing the " Fresh " emote allows the player to do a dance that looks identical to Ribeiro's.

Meghan asks Harry to ditch a royal Christmas tradition
Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, gave an interview to Good Morning Britain Monday in which he begged his daughter to contact him. Mr Markle hoped the Queen would step in soon before things got any worse.

Russian Federation used every major social media platform to sway voters to Trump
The Russian activity went far beyond the three tech companies that provided information, reaching many smaller sites as well. The new research also points to the previously underappreciated prominence of the IRA's use of Instagram.

2 police officers hit and killed by train in Chicago
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates South Shore trains, uses Metra tracks. Two other Chicago officers besides Mr Marmolejo and Mr Gary were killed in the line of duty this year.

Trump rips NBC and 'SNL' as 'Democrat spin machines'
Alec Baldwin has called President Trump is a "curse" and "punishment" for American sins. Michael Cohen ( Ben Stiller ) wouldn't be a convicted criminal on his way to prison.

EPL: Martial's agent alerts Arsenal, Chelsea, says player will leave Manchester United
Jose Mourinho was left amazed by Man Utd's nearly unbelievable comeback against Newcastle. Manchester United has sacked Jose Mourinho as the manager of the football club.

ALERT: Netflix, police warn of phony emails that could steal customer information
There is a link called "Login Now" that, if clicked, will take you to a fake page that asks you to enter account information. Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot's senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music.

Other news