Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Science

Saturn's Rings Formed From Large Moon Destruction 115

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-it's-definitely-no-moon dept.
Matt_dk writes "The formation of Saturn's rings has been one of the classical if not eternal questions in astronomy. But one researcher has provided a provocative new theory to answer that question. Robin Canup from the Southwest Research Institute has uncovered evidence that the rings came from a large, Titan-sized moon that was destroyed as it spiraled into a young Saturn."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Saturn's Rings Formed From Large Moon Destruction

Comments Filter:
  • by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @09:50AM (#33824640) Homepage

    This is a really interesting model and it has a nice ring to it. (And Robin is one of the best researchers I know in this area, so that adds confidence, too.) But can we not use the definite statements in the headlines? This is a model. A good model, to be sure, but just one. I've definitely seen work even recently that makes a comet origin seem plausible, so in the very least, there's a competing model that has to be answered.

  • Obvious? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by esobofh (138133) <khg AT telus DOT net> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @09:54AM (#33824682)

    Aren't all rings of this nature formed form orbiting debris - debris caused by collisions? The thought that Jupiter will have rings once the conflicting orbits of it's moons finally cause them to collide is not new.. it's expected and assumed that it will happen..

    I don't think this is new "science".. seems obvious.

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @10:36AM (#33825254)

    It is fortunate that scientists do not simply stop thinking about or discussing problems as soon as somebody conjectures an answer.

  • Re:New? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @10:54AM (#33825510)

    No, it's not new, it's more complete. But I suppose it would be so much simpler to tell who wins the science game if people just stopped asking questions when somebody else said "FURST! LOL"

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mea37 (1201159) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @12:21PM (#33826732)

    Really? Not new science because it seems obvious? Because after all, everything that seems obvoius turns out to be scientifically correct, right?

    For example, to move from point A to point B, an object must move through all the points in between. Oh, except that's not true on a quantum scale.

    And if you're on a train that's moving at speed X, and you walk toward the front of the train at speed Y, then you're speed is X+Y. Except if the velocities are large, that will yield a measurable error.

    And a little closer to home here, we "knew" for quite some time that 9 objects were unique in the solar system. To many people this was so obvious that they won't accept it as wrong, even though we've since figured out that one of them wasn't like the others, and was more like a vast number of other objects.

    What we 'know' about planets' ring systems is speculation - a suitable answer to give an elementary school student who asks, so long as you preface it with "we think that this is the explanation".

    A new model is new science. It refines the hypothesis well beyond "debris caused by collisions". That it confirms, rather than refutes, the suitability of the (refined) hypothesis doesn't make it any less new.

  • by Facegarden (967477) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:38PM (#33827790)

    This is a really interesting model and it has a nice ring to it. (And Robin is one of the best researchers I know in this area, so that adds confidence, too.) But can we not use the definite statements in the headlines? This is a model. A good model, to be sure, but just one. I've definitely seen work even recently that makes a comet origin seem plausible, so in the very least, there's a competing model that has to be answered.

    ALL HEADLINES ARE TRUE.
    -Fantasyland, USA: Today, a top researcher said some headlines might be true, under certain circumstances. This is an amazing find, as previously it was believed that all headlines were complete fabrications, as covered in our story yesterday entitled "ALL HEADLINES FALSE".

New crypt. See /usr/news/crypt.

Working...