Saturn's Rings May Disappear Sooner than we Thought

Shaun Raviv of Smithsonian Magazine writes about the discoveries suggesting Saturn’s rings may be gone sooner than we thought: ‘If someone asked you to draw a planet other than ours, you would likely draw Saturn, and that is because of its rings. But for most of history, human beings couldn’t see the rings. Not the astronomers of ancient India, Egypt, Babylon or the Islamic world. Not Ptolemy or the Greco-Romans, who nonetheless discerned that Saturn was farther from Earth than Mercury or Venus. Not Nicolaus Copernicus, who showed that the Earth was just another planet orbiting the Sun. And not even Tycho Brahe, the Danish nobleman and alchemist, who attempted to calculate Saturn’s diameter (he was way off)…’
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