Have you ever thought of about “Why does Saturn have rings?” Until curiosity thrives humanity will always want to know the answer probably.
So, that’s the thing about why Saturn looks so mesmerizing with its striking rings. It is probably one of the most beautiful planets in our galaxy ‘The Milky Way’ and it is all due to its most beautiful striking rings.
So, in this post it is all about the ever asking query about “Why does Saturn have rings?” and of course I will try to give light into some incredible Saturn rings facts and many more. You will definitely love reading this post.
Why Does Saturn Have Rings?
It has always been a matter of concern in knowing the reason for Saturn having its rings. No matter what, Scientists do have many ideas, postulates, and theories about why Saturn has rings, but no one does really know the correct answer for sure.
In very simple way to answer it as to why Saturn has rings and how these rings are made up of, is that this wonderful planet Saturn has accumulated and is believed to be made up of a lot of dust particles, rocky asteroids, comets, and large ice boulders.
It is probable that these accumulated items are most likely trapped and attracted by the gravitational force of Saturn.
The main reason as of why these rings appear beautiful when seen through a telescope is because of the wavelengths of light reflected by these rings of debris and dust particles.
That isn’t the complete answer yet. In may theories, of course, some scientists believe Saturn to be a big and enormous planet and so of course, it is. Their, theories say that the gravitational pull is strong enough to pull debris from space into its gravitational zone forming the ring around it.
This gravitational pull may also bee the reason as for why Saturn has its 62 moons surrounding it. These moons also contribute dust and debris (some of which are like large buildings) to the rings of Saturn.
Some scientists believe about many massive impacts and blasts between asteroids and the planet Saturn and also with the 62 moons around it. After those enormous impact, the remnants of the asteroids and the debris could not escape the gravitational pull of the planet and so, finally makes the shape of these mesmerizing rings.
Let me give some Light into 2 of the most important theories to answer “Why does Saturn have rings?”…
Theory No. 1: Born This Way…
As stated earlier in this post it was believed by various scientists for many years that the planet and its rings were created naturally by dust particles, rocky asteroids, comets, and large ice boulders.
But after the space mission known as the Voyager missions in 1981, the images and data captured by the satellite showed various changes in the rings.
Then later the Cassini Space Mission did show pieces of numerous additional information that scientists are still analyzing, indicating those ring particles are lost over short time periods into the unknown universe.
Theory No. 2: A Broken Moon…
According to this theory, it is to be believed that a moon named Mimas came too close to Saturn about 200 million years ago and broke apart, due to Saturn’s immense gravity. And then the cracked exploded remains of that moon would have fallen and have aligned themselves into the orbit around Saturn due to its gravitational pull, creating the rings of today.
It is also believed that this moon and many other moons breakup scenarios have also happened over the 4.5-billion-years lifespan of the planet which resulted in forming today’s Saturn rings.
Saturn Rings Facts You Must Know…
- The rings are about 400,000 kilometers (approx. 240,000 miles) wide and this is the almost as same distance between the Sun and the Moon.
- The estimated rings number ranges from 500 to 1000 with having six major ring systems.
- The Cassini spacecraft reached Saturn in July 2004. Thereafter, it orbited Saturn for nearly 13 years, studying Saturn, its rings, and its moons much more thoroughly than the earlier spacecraft could.
- Saturn’s rings are largely made up of huge particles of ice, debris, boulder together with dust particles.
- NASA has estimated this rings to only a 100 million years old and also have declared that they could dissipate in the next 100 million years or so.
- Saturn is not the only planet with rings. Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have them as well.