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Why do Saturn’s rings look like that?

New research from the University of Leicester finally confirms why the planet’s iconic rings look the way they do — and the answer might allow us to make predictions about other planetary rings in the universe.

Saturn’s rings are made of chunks of ice and rock that range in size from a few inches wide, to 10-feet long. It has long been a mystery as to whether this size distribution occurred for just Saturn’s rings, or other planetary rings, such as those surrounding Uranus or Neptune.

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“Our study revealed that this form of the size distribution is not occasional, but dictated by simple mechanisms of aggregation and fragmentation of particles at their collisions,” Dr. Nikolai Brilliantov, a math professor at the university and the study’s lead investigator, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Furthermore, we proved mathematically that the form of the size distribution is universal, that is, it is not specific for planetary rings of Saturn”. (1)

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Of course the Saturn rings obey the scientific model for aggregation and fragmentation of particles at their collisions.

Because you know what?

If it did not, then the model would change in order to incorporate the new evidence and then… it would!

Describing the world is what science does.

Useful as a kitchen.

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Worthless as philosophy.