NASA-in Hubble Space Telescope captured a new, extremely clear image of Saturn in early July.
What sets Saturn apart from other planets at first glance are its rings, the largest and brightest in our solar system. They extend 280,000 kilometers from the planet itself, and are wide enough to accommodate six planets as large as Earth. Still, it seems that Saturn won’t look like that forever, given that as early as 2018, scientists came to the conclusion that it was losing its rings.
A team of experts has come to the conclusion that the planet is running out of its rings faster than previously thought. Saturn’s rings consist of solid materials that slowly disintegrate and pieces of ice. The material descends on the planet in the form of rain, and in just one second about 10,000 kilograms of material fall from the rings. The decay of the material is mostly affected by the sun’s UV radiation and collisions with smaller meteors. When a collision occurs, pieces of ice turn into a liquid, which is then acted upon by Saturn’s magnetic field, and the matter thus created falls on the planet and burns in its atmosphere.
NASA-in Hubble Space Telescope captured a new, extremely clear image of Saturn in early July, and the space agency released an image of the planet on Thursday, writes Mashable.
In addition to the magnificent scene of Saturn, this photo will help preserve the rings in the archive. It is estimated that Saturn’s rings will disappear in the next 100 million years.