As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter should have a larger and more spectacular rubble ring than Saturn, but in fact Jupiter’s ring structure is very weak. A new study by the UC Riverside team found the culprit to be Jupiter’s four largest moons, which obliterated any attempts to form Saturn-like rings around Jupiter.
Jupiter is basically made of gas, but its mass is more than twice that of the other seven planets in our solar system combined. There are also 79 moons around Jupiter, many of which are candidates for alien life, and it seems that Jupiter has everything – except the icy ring structure.
Astronomers have wondered in the past that Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants. The former is even larger and has a stronger gravity, but for some strange reason does not have a ring of matter filled with large ice and rock blocks like Saturn. . Or that Jupiter’s rings are very fragile, consisting essentially of only small dust grains, which we didn’t first notice until 1979.
Why doesn’t Jupiter have rings? A new study by a UC Riverside team may finally have an answer.
“Jupiter’s Galilean moons would quickly destroy any rings that might have formed,” said Stephen Kane, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Riverside. A Galilean moon that would obliterate any attempt to create Saturn-like rings around Jupiter.
Galilean satellites are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, which are the 4th, 6th, 1st and 3rd largest natural satellites in the solar system respectively. Their radii are longer than any dwarf planets, in terms of diameter It is the largest celestial body in the solar system except the sun and eight planets.
When the moons are big enough, their gravitational force is enough to pull the debris away or change the orbit around the planet, so there is never a spectacular ring structure around Jupiter. For Jupiter’s moon group, it is enough to have them around Jupiter. .
However, in fact, the four giant planets in the solar system – Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter all have rings, the difference is only obvious. In the future, researchers plan to analyze the lifespan of Uranus’ rings and clarify whether Uranus “lying on its side” The result of a collision of a celestial body, and whether Uranus’ rings are actually post-impact remnants.
(First image source: University of California, Riverside)
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