In fact, they might have formed around the same time dinosaurs were walking the Earth, with scientists estimating that the rings formed less than 100 million years ago, and maybe as little as 10 million years ago. As Cassini fell into the gravity field of Saturn each time, it was able to record gravity data scientists used to determine how much gravity was pulling on the spacecraft. Based on that estimate, they now believe Saturn's rings are much younger than previously thought, originating only 10 million years ago.
Saturn's moon Titan, which some scientists have theorized could be the home to extraterrestrial life due to the presence of surface liquid and dust storms, is providing another surprise to researchers - the sight of fresh rainfall. As recently discovered by NASA next to the planet the rings will disappear in the near future on a cosmic scale, and their whole system will be eaten by Saturn approximately 300 million years.
Dhingra said, "We want our model predictions to match our observations".
"Particles throughout the rings can not help but feel these oscillations in the gravity field", Mankovich said. "That turned out to be massive flows in the atmosphere at least 9,000 kilometers (5,592 miles) deep around the equatorial region". We thought preliminarily that these clouds were like clouds on Earth, which are confined to a thin layer and contain nearly no mass.
The masses of Saturn's fainter D, F, G and E rings are considered negligible, the researchers wrote.
The satellite's end days saw it fly repeatedly through the gap between the rings and the planet's cloud tops.
NASA scientists had data from Cassini and data from the Voyager spacecraft to use in their quest.
Google fined $57M after France finds violations of new European Union privacy law
Interested in Google? Add Google as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Google news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Max Schrems , chairman of None of Your Business, said he was "very pleased" with the ruling.
Teenager Amanda Anisimova stuns crowd at Australian Open after eliminating 11th seed
Also Friday, No. 5 Sloane Stephens survived two tough tiebreak sets to beat No. 31 Petra Martic 7-6, 7-6. The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" as she left the court.
Bengals Returning To London In 2019
The NFL announced the annual International Series games on Monday morning, and Kansas City is among next season's participants. The Jaguars will play a home game in London for the seventh consecutive season when they face the Texans.
It's a phenomena we've seen on Jupiter too, but the difference is the layers on Jupiter start synchronising and rotating together much higher in the atmosphere. Their findings were presented in the journal Science.
Did rings come from icy comet?With a better calculation of ring mass, scientists were better able to estimate the rings' age.
The study says the rings respond to vibrations within the planet, "acting similarly to the seismometers used to measure movement caused by earthquakes". This is approximately equal to half the mass of Mimas, one of the smallest of Saturn's moons that resembles the "death star", and is comparable to the weight of small asteroids.
After analyzing the final set of orbits in September 2017, however, the extent to which Cassini's trajectory was deflected initially didn't make sense.
The outcome of this jet, the origin of which is now uncertain, is that by speeding up the rotation of the outer 15% of the planet, it increases the centrifugal force, resulting in part of the outer atmosphere uplifting slightly, affecting the planet's gravitational pull.
Data gathered by the Cassini mission before it plunged into Saturn's atmosphere shed light on the age of the gas giant's rings. Earthbound radio telescopes then measured the spacecraft's velocity to within a fraction of a millimeter per second.
Lead researcher Luciano Iess, a planetary scientist at Sapienza University in Rome, said orbital motion sprayed the dust and other contaminants onto the icy rings at a constant rate. Lower mass points to a younger age, because the rings are initially made of ice and are bright but over time become contaminated and darkened by interplanetary debris. "It was a classic, spectacular way to end the mission".