Astrophotographers and amateur astronomers have to take their time when it comes to observing and photographing Saturn. And in just 18 months, in 2025, he will achieve his success It will no longer be visible from Earth. This is all due to the planet’s tilt in its orbit around the sun. The highlighted rings will be perfectly placed in our line of sight. They are so thin that they disappear from our field of vision.
This may seem very strange to some people. How can Saturn hide such huge rings from our eyes? After all, they are huge. It extends from 70,000 to 140,000 km, and covers an area equivalent to 30 of the Earth’s surface. Although it occupies unimaginable space, it is extremely thin. About every 14 to 15 years, Saturn angles itself so that the rings disappear Out of sight. However, after some time, they appear to our eyes again.
Saturn consists of 9 rings made up of rocks, dust, and ice particles. In most places it is about 10 meters thick, although it can be thicker in some places. There are formations up to 3 kilometers thick. From a distance of more than 1.2 billion kilometers This is nothing really. They are comparatively thinner than paper.
In August of this year, when Saturn was in opposition, it was also deviant About 9 degrees. The second largest planet in the solar system will reach near zero March 23, 2025. It is an exceptional opportunity to observe this planet, which will be visible in all its glory at this moment.
Since Saturn’s rings are mainly made up of chunks of ice and rock, they give up Slow deteriorationAnd thus they will disappear forever. All this is due to the phenomenon of annular rain. As it turns out, the rings disappear At an alarming rate. According to astronomers’ calculations, about 10,000 kilograms of annular rain falls on Saturn per second. The rings are constantly bombarded not only by orbiting space rocks, but also by solar radiation.
During impacts, the ice begins to evaporate, creating charged water molecules that interact with the planet’s magnetic field and eventually fall toward its surface. Thanks to data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, scientists estimated the size of this planet In 2017The amount of material falling from the rings on Saturn is much greater than the collected data indicate In the eighties By NASA’s Voyager mission probe.
Originally, the rings were supposed to survive About 300 million years ago. However, the latest forecasts are unforgiving. Saturn’s rings will disappear completely in an instant 100 million years.
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