Tag: impact

A History of Comet Collisions Inscribed in Saturn & Jupiter's Rings

By Patrick Morgan | April 3, 2011 9:39 am

What’s the News: Looking at images of odd undulations in the rings of Saturn and Jupiter, astronomers have discovered that comets are to blame. The finding means that a planet’s rings act as a historical record of passing comets, possibly leading to a better understanding of comet populations. “We now know that collisions into the rings are very common—a few times per decade for Jupiter and a few times per century for Saturn,” Mark Showalter, from the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, told the Daily Mail. “Now scientists know that the rings record these impacts like grooves in a vinyl record, and we can play back their history later.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space
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