Saturn’s rings will disappear in 2025!

2023-11-10 08:11:46

Saturn’s rings will soon disappear. The news seems crazy. But she’s not that much. Because the phenomenon ultimately occurs approximately every 15 years. Explanations.

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The first to observe them was Galileo (1564-1642). It was at the very beginning of the 17th century. The rings of Saturn. Majestic. And quite mysterious at that time. Since then, astronomers have proposed different scenarios for their training. From comets, asteroids or even satellites that ventured into the wrong place and were torn apart by its gravitational pull or collided with each other. They could also have only been formed relatively recently. About 400 million years ago. And today they extend over a distance of between 70,000 and 140,000 kilometers.

Towards the end of Saturn’s rings?

But researchers warn that we should expect them to disappear. In millions of years? By progressive disintegration into a shower of pieces of ice which would fall into the atmosphere of the gaseous planet? No. In about 18 months. Sometime in 2025!

It is the inclination of the giant planet in its orbit around our Sun which is indeed about to change. Making its rings align perfectly with our field of vision. But Saturn’s rings are thin. Proportionately thinner than a sheet of paper. So trying to spot them will be like wanting to see a sheet of paper edge-on from one end of a football field to the other.

A position in the sky that makes Saturn’s rings disappear

It is exactly on March 23, 2025 that Saturn’s tilt angle will drop to zero. This happens approximately every 15 years. But it is possible that the configuration is then represented several times in close proximity. This will be the case on the next occasion, October 15, 2038, then April 1, 2039 and again July 9, 2039. In the meantime, Saturn and its rings will appear at their greatest inclination in 2032.

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