Why Jupiter has practically no rings: scientists finally solved the mystery

Why Jupiter has practically no rings: scientists finally solved the mystery

To understand why Jupiter looks the way he looks, scientists have done dynamic computer simulations for the orbits of Jupiter's four main satellites, Io, Europe, Ganymede and Callisto, and planetologists have taken into account the trajectory of the planet itself and the time of its existence that could form the rings, the results of which have already been published online and will soon be available in Planetary Science.

Space inconsistency

Scientists have long wondered why Jupiter doesn't have rings that Saturn might have envied. If the rings of the gas giant would appear brighter, because the planet is closer to Earth. In the course of his research, astrophysics also tested the theory that Jupiter used to have rings, but he lost them in the formation and development of the solar system.

What do we know about Saturn's rings?

As a result, scientists have concluded that Jupiter's Galileo satellites, one of which is the largest satellite in the solar system, have very quickly destroyed any large rings that might form, and as a result, it is unlikely that the gas giant has ever had large rings in the past.

Saturn's rings are mostly made up of ice, some of which may have been caused by the destruction of the rings, which are also mainly made up of it. The simulations showed that if satellites are massive enough, their gravity could remove ice from the orbit of the planet or alter the trajectory of the ice to such an extent that it would encounter the moons.

What about the other giants?

All four planets of the solar system — Saturn, Neptune, Urana, and Jupiter — do have rings, but the Neptune and Jupiter rings are so fragile that they are difficult to see using traditional instruments to observe stars.

For the first time, scientists noticed that these ephemeral rings of Jupiter existed until Voyager's spacecraft passed the planet, so that some of the recent images taken by the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope included images of Jupiter showing weak rings.

Uranus has rings that aren't as big as Saturn's, but they're denser. In the future, scientists will model to see how they're coming and when they disappear. Some astronomers believe that Uranus turned on his side as a result of the planet's collision with another celestial body.

Why are the rings so important?

In addition to their beauty, the rings help astronomers understand the history of the planet. They are witnesses to the planet's clash with the moons or comets that may have occurred in the past. The shape and size of the rings, as well as the composition of the material, give an idea of the type of event that formed them.