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Saturn's Tilt Caused by its Moons, Researchers Say

02/01/2021 6:14 PM

Who would have thought a few moons could tip an entire gas giant planet?

"Scientists have just shown that the influence of Saturn's satellites can explain the tilt of the rotation axis of the gas giant. Their work also predicts that the tilt will increase even further over the next few billion years."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210121132103.htm

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#1

Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/01/2021 7:17 PM
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#3
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Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/01/2021 7:44 PM
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#2

Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/01/2021 7:34 PM

So what,... everyone knows that Saturn is as flat is its rings...

signed,

the flat Saturn society.

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#4

Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/01/2021 9:33 PM

Could that imply that the core of Saturn is (slightly?) oblong, along its vertical axis, instead of round?

Or, was it seriouly impacted like when the Earth was struck hard enough to cause our moon to start forming, and the Earth to start precession?

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#5

Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/01/2021 10:19 PM

Any rotating planet, such as the earth, is flattened at the poles. The gravity of the sun (and moon) exerts a force to try to align the bulge in the direction of the sun. The earth, like a gyroscope, instead precesses with a period of about 23000 years.

Saturn also has the same precession due to the sun's gravity, although much weaker, causing a precession of its axis every 1.87 million years.

I'm thinking the satellites are just an intermediary. The driving force is actually Neptune. The precession of Neptune's orbit (nodal orbital precession) is in resonance with Saturn's precession of the axis of rotation. Neptune affects the orbits of the satellites, which in turn affect the planet's tilt.

The connection is extremely weak, but we're talking about billions of years. All that is required is that the frequencies are equal and that the energy will flow from the leading phase to the following phase, much like the example of coupled pendulums.

"Several prominent examples of secular resonance involve Saturn. A resonance between the precession of Saturn's rotational axis and that of Neptune's orbital axis (both of which have periods of about 1.87 million years) has been identified as the likely source of Saturn's large axial tilt (26.7°).[14][15][16] Initially, Saturn probably had a tilt closer to that of Jupiter (3.1°). The gradual depletion of the Kuiper belt would have decreased the precession rate of Neptune's orbit; eventually, the frequencies matched, and Saturn's axial precession was captured into the spin-orbit resonance, leading to an increase in Saturn's obliquity. (The angular momentum of Neptune's orbit is 104 times that of Saturn's rotation rate, and thus dominates the interaction.)"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_resonance#:~:text=A%20resonance%20between%20the%20precession,of%20Jupiter%20(3.1%C2%B0).

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#7
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Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/02/2021 1:10 PM

I thought that Saturns' satellites, though numerous, did not seem to have enough total mass by themselves, to be the only cause of Saturns tilt. I did not think of Neptune as a possible answer at all.

Thanks for your time, and effort, to provide such a thorough answer to my simplistic questions. GA from me.

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#8
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Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/03/2021 12:54 PM

I agree with MR. Guest; a really good answer. It appears you are definitely the astronomer of the group. I'd give two-thumbs up if I could...

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#6

Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/02/2021 2:31 AM

<...the tilt will increase even further over the next few billion years...>

It would be great to watch this on YouTube.

Apparently, Andromeda will be over halfway to collision by then...

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#9
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Re: Saturn's tilt caused by its moons, researchers say

02/03/2021 4:37 PM

... but, I want to know who's driving this galaxy, or that galaxy, anyway?..................

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#10

Re: Saturn's Tilt Caused by its Moons, Researchers Say

09/30/2021 2:59 PM

Interesting research, lately I have been fond of astrology.

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