The rings of Saturn are composed of rocks and fragments of other small planets. Astronomers argued that after the formation of our solar system, probably thousands of dwarf planets fixed in the Kuiper Belt. This represents the ring that surrounds planet Neptune. Four billion years ago, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn migrated arising the asteroid belt situated between Jupiter and Mars.
The gravitational clashes have delivered a lot of space residues towards these two planets. They were further carried to the inner solar system producing the Late Heavy Bombardment, known for its numerous cosmic impacts. The new study conducted by a team of researchers at Kobe University in Japan has carefully analyzed the situation.
They have observed that a high number of fragments and rocks from the Kuiper Belt have passed near planets like Jupiter and Saturn. Numerous dwarf planets which were Pluto-sized have got close to Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus and were dispersed by their gravitational power.
The team of scientists has performed a computer simulation which suggested that 10% of the fragments of a dwarf planet was attracted into the orbit of a massive planet with the help of its gravitational power. These rocks and pieces crashed into each other breaking into smaller pieces that formed the rings of Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus.
The rings formed around Neptune and Uranus display a different composition, having a rockier structure. The rings of Saturn are 95% composed out of the water. This happened because Neptune and Uranus are denser than planet Saturn, thus using a gravitational greater pull. Researchers claimed that if the fragments which pass by Saturn would be more controlled by its gravitational pull, then the atmosphere of the planet will suffer some changes.
Experts who were part of the study had asserted that this discovery introduced the idea that the rings around massive planets represent natural material which was generated during the planets’ process of formation. The new research was recently published in the Icarus magazine.
Scientists have stated that the breakthrough demonstrates that those planets which are situated in the nearby of other stars may probably display similar rings which were formed due to the same process. The improvement of technology has brought more information regarding discoveries of exoplanets which exhibit such rings.
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