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main page newsspace newsastronomers have explained the origin of the tiny moons of saturn.

Astronomers have explained the origin of the tiny moons of Saturn.. / June 10, 2010 /

Astronomers have proposed a new hypothesis of tiny moons, Saturn with a diameter of about 50 kilometers, the origin of which still raises some questions. The work of scientists published in the journal Nature. Briefly about it wrote portal Nature News.

Saturn has at least 62 natural satellites, most of which is small in size. It is believed that all the planets of the solar system along with their moons were formed about 4.5 billion years ago from one of the protoplanetary disk orbiting the newborn sun. However, the small Saturnian satellites do not fit into this picture — for such a long period of time they had to be destroyed in collisions with comets and asteroids.

The creators of the work suggested a different mechanism of formation of «dwarf» moons — Scientists think they formed from material of one of the rings of the giant planets (ie, ring A,) much later — about 10 million years ago. The rings are small pieces of ice and rock. Increasingly, these fragments were closing together, forming larger bodies farther from Saturn’s tidal forces.

Researchers have tested the validity of this assumption by developing a computer model of the Saturnian moons. The model takes into account the peculiarities of the formation of all satellites of the planet, to create a very difficult, so researchers are limited to a simplified scheme, in which was based on the formation of Earth’s natural satellite — moon. Presupposed by scientists hypothesis also explains the nature of the dust of the ring F of Saturn — if the assumption researchers is correct, then it is formed in collisions between a dwarf moons.

Most recently, just two staff specialists presented new evidence that Saturn’s moon Titan, the largest might harbor life (such a hypothesis there is a long time, since the conditions on Titan resemble the conditions on the young Earth). These two works were widely covered in the media, although many colleagues the authors commented on these arguments with skepticism.

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