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Saturn’s Distinctive Look May Be Rooted in the Death of an Ancient Moon


Samus Aran
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Saturn’s Distinctive Look May Be Rooted in the Death of an Ancient Moon

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Saturn may owe its sweeping ring system and distinctive tilt to the death of an ancient moon named Chrysalis, according to the results of a new study.

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Astronomers have believed for a while that Saturn’s jaunty angle was the result of a gravitational interplay between the gas giant, its 83 moons, and the tug exerted on it by the planet Neptune. The relationship with the latter was drawn when astronomers realized that Saturn’s spinning top-like motion matched extremely well with the orbital cadence of Neptune.

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However, judging by Saturn’s present day tilt, the team believes that there was a resonance that lasted for billions of years in the past, that was subsequently broken.

Interesting facts.

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