Space

Saturn received rings of Chrysalis, the Moon has Lost

By Aazam

Artistic rendering of the moon Chrysalis disintegrating in Saturn's intense gravity field

Rings appear to be common around planets in the solar system, but the dramatic rings of Saturn have long puzzled astronomers

The rings could be debris left over from the tidal destruction of a former icy moon of Saturn or the remains of a comet that strayed too close to the planet

The researchers conclude that about 99% of Chrysalis ended up swallowed by the gas giant planet, with the remainder forming the rings

The planet’s rapid rotation slightly flattened its shape, allowing the sun and other planets to exert a torque that tilted the axis

Chrysalis eventually came so close to Saturn that the planet’s gravity tore it apart, with a portion of it settling into a ring

The work was funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation

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