The rings of Saturn are set to disappear in 2025

If you look through a telescope in 2025, you won't be able to see the planet's impressive ring system.
  • The rings of Saturn are the biggest and brightest in our solar system
  • The planet’s rings are most made up of chunks of ice and some rock and dust material, too
  • However, the rings surrounding Saturn are set to disappear from sight in 2025

Published on Nov 7, 2023 at 5:00PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Nov 10, 2023 at 12:57PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis
The rings of Saturn are set to disappear in 2025

Saturn is best known for having the biggest and brightest rings in our solar system.

Its rings are mostly made up of chunks of ice and some rock and dust material, too.

However, in the next two years, the planet’s rings will vanish from view.

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Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei first observed the rings of Saturn in 1610.

But, when you look at the planet through your telescope in 2025, you won’t be able to see the same image Galilei saw when he caught a glimpse of the impressive ring system.

Apparently, the rings surrounding the planet are set to disappear from sight.

We knew Saturn’s rings were disappearing a lot more quickly than anticipated because NASA previously spoke about it.

But it was believed it would take around 300 million years for them to melt away.

Scientists say that they’re melting away as a result of the Sun’s UV radiation.

Not only that, but meteoroids colliding with the rings cause the ice particles to vaporize and form charged water molecules that interact with Saturn’s magnetic field, before falling down onto the planet like rain.

Back in 2017, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft collected data which revealed it’s expected to actually take 100 millions years for the rings to disappear.

Not quite as long as the 300 million years originally predicted but even still, 2025 isn’t in 100 million years time.

If the truth be told, the rings around Saturn won’t be disappearing altogether in 2025, but temporarily from sight.

Today, you can see the planet’s rings with a small telescope or even high-powered binoculars under good conditions.

But in 2025, as Saturn orbits around the Sun, it will be tilting a certain way, so its rings will be obscured from view.

And, according to IFL Science, the ‘angle of tilt’ will ‘drop to zero when it gets to March 23, 2025’.

According to the science blog, 2025 isn’t the only year Saturn’s rings are set to vanish from sight either.

Apparently, the ‘edge-on view’ occurs in ‘intervals of 13.7 to 15.7 years’, because of the ‘Earth crossing the plane of rings’ – and one, two, or even three crossings can occur.

“The next event following 2025 will be a triple one again: October 15, 2038, and then April 1, and July 9, 2038,” the science blog continued.

In other words, the planet’s rings aren’t vanishing completely just yet – it’s just a temporary obstruction.

Rest assured, you’ll be able to catch the glorious rings of Saturn in full view in 2032.

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