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Business News/ Science / News/  Saturn's renowned rings to disappear from Earth's view from 2025; here's all you need to know
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Saturn's renowned rings to disappear from Earth's view from 2025; here's all you need to know

Saturn's renowned rings are set to disappear in 2025, according to NASA. Made of ice, rock, and dust, the rings will become nearly undetectable as the planet tilts edge-on with Earth.

A file photo of Saturn. (Photo: NASA)Premium
A file photo of Saturn. (Photo: NASA)

Saturn which is the sixth and the second largest planet in our solar system is known for its bright and glorious rings. But, do you know, this crowing ring is soon set to disappear? According to media reports, NASA has indicated that Saturn's renowned rings will disappear from view in the year 2025. As per NASA, Saturn's rings are made of billions of small chunks of ice and rock coated with other materials such as dust. The planet has seven rings namely D, C, B, A, F, G, and E, as per NASA.

Why will the Saturn's ring disappear?

Saturn which is nine times bigger than the Earth is set to disappear from view as it will tilt edge-on with Earth, making the enormous rings invisible, as per media report. As per media reports, currently, the planet's tilt is 9 degrees, but it will drop down to 3.7 degrees by 2024 and eventually be 0 by 2025.

European Space Agency (ESA) calls this phenomena as Saturnian Equinox. Explaining it, ESA states that Equinox is a point in a planet's orbit where the Sun shines directly overhead at the equator.

As per NASA's transcript on ‘Equinox at Saturn’, it takes around 30 years for Saturn to complete a full orbit around the sun, so an Equinox occurs roughly every 15 Earth years. “For nearly half of Saturn's orbit, the sun shines on the south side of the rings. For the other half, it shines on the north side," it states. "When Saturn's equinox is viewed from Earth, the rings are seen edge-on and appear as a thin line – sometimes giving the illusion they’ve disappeared," the ESA describes in its 2019 report. Earth.com explains it as an attempt to locate an edge-on piece of paper at the far end of a football pitch. 

Reports have also state that such an occurrence had last occurred in 2009. As per ESA, the next equinox is expected to take place on 6 May, 2025, but as per NASA, the rings are set to disappear in March 2025. In addition to this, reports also indicate that by 2032, Saturn's tilt angle will return back to 27 degrees, again providing the best view of its rings.

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Published: 08 Nov 2023, 06:41 PM IST
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