https://www.universetoday.com/newsletter, Weekly Space Hangout: Saturn is the big showboat, with its fancy rings. The chunks in the ring will also experience drag in the solar atmosphere and continue to spiral inward until they crash into the planet. His newest book is called the Biological Universe, and features the search for life in the Milky Way and Beyond. But one of my favorite sets of images that Kevin did were these. What’s it going to take for us to join the ring club? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUHI67dh9jEO2rvK–MdCSg, Support us at: https://www.patreon.com/universetoday And More…, Episode 694: Interview: Fred Watson, Australia's Astronomer at Large, Episode 693: Open Space 92: Why I Hate Embargoed News Stories, and More…, Episode 692: Open Space 91: Any Updates on Venus? An impact on the Earth itself, if it were big enough, could create rings (the impact that formed the Moon billions of years ago may have done just that). https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Today-Ultimate-Viewing-Cosmos/dp/1624145442/, Audio Podcast version: Chad Weber – [email protected], Support Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain. As you know, when it runs out of fuel in its core, the Sun is going to bloat up as a red giant, consuming Mercury and Venus. RSS: https://www.universetoday.com/audio, What Fraser's Watching Playlist: Even the smallest particles of ice or dust create spectacular meteors in the sky, so there was a ring right now, we’d see these impacts all the time. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Did we ever have rings in the past, or will we in the future? The Guide to Space is a series of space and astronomy poddcasts by Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, Episode 700: Interview: Wallace Arthur and the Biological Universe. The orbiting Moon will experience drag as it goes around the Earth, slowing down its orbital velocity, and causing it to spiral inward. Once it reaches the Roche Limit of the Earth, about 9,500 km, our planet’s gravity will tear the Moon apart into a ring. We still have the potential for stuff to crash around us. Any closer and the radiation from the Sun sublimates the ice away. Instagram – https://instagram.com/universetoday, Team: Fraser Cain – @fcain / [email protected] It might have had rings of rock and dust for periods, but they weren’t that majestic to look at. Before we really get started on today’s episode, I’d like to share a bunch of really cool pictures created by my friend Kevin Gill. The farther north or south you go, the more dramatically the rings will ruin your view. Why not? RSS: https://www.universetoday.com/audio, What Fraser's Watching Playlist: 4.527–4.533 Billion years ago Theia, a planet with a size similar to Mars, smashed into Earth, and the remains collected in orbit around earth. Again, another sign. The Sun will blast off its outer layers, but not actually envelop Earth. https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Today-Ultimate-Viewing-Cosmos/dp/1624145442/, Audio Podcast version: This worked for a few months after launch, until the needles were too far dispersed to allow for communication. It’s also possible we had a second moon in the ancient past, which collided with our current Moon. If there was any ring of dust orbiting the planet, we’d see it. Does Earth Have Rings? Rings would be way way worse. And like the rings around Uranus, they were probably formed when two or more of its moons collided together. ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/universe-today-guide-to-space-audio/id794058155?mt=2 The US Military launched 480 million copper needles into orbit around Earth in a project called Project West Ford. For example, he’s mapped out what a future terraformed Mars might look like based on elevation maps, or rendered moons disturbing Saturn’s rings with their gravity. This debris collected together into the Moon we know today. Only if you were right at the equator, you’d have a thin line, which would be borderline acceptable. Kevin’s a computer programmer, 3-D animator and works on climate science data for NASA. So Earth probably did have temporary rings in the past after asteroid impacts or cometary flybys, but Earth doesn’t have rings today. Join us at patreon.com/universetoday. Podcast (audio): Download (Duration: 8:24 — 3.1MB), Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS, Podcast (video): Download (Duration: 8:27 — 108.8MB). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The problem with icy rings is that the Earth orbits too closely to the Sun. In theory, if needles were continuously launched, it would be a functioning communications system, but it’s not necessary with modern communications satellites. See no ads on this site, see our videos early, special bonus material, and much more. The rings around Neptune are far dustier than any of the other ring systems, and much younger than the Solar System. Karla Thompson – @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw You know how the Moon sucks for astronomy? Astronomers have been arguing about where they came from and how old they are, but the current consensus – sort of – is that the rings are almost as ancient as Saturn itself: billions of years old. In the case of Earth, it might have held onto a few ice particles that would have then orbited the planet, and eventually crashed through our atmosphere and burned up. It might have had rings of rock and dust for periods, but they weren’t that majestic to look at. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0-KklSGlCiJDwOPdR2EUcg/, Astronomy Cast: And More…, Episode 691: Interview: Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. That would be considered a very bad day, if it wasn’t for the fact that we were already living inside the atmosphere of the Sun. As you saw in Kevin’s original pictures, the rings take up a huge chunk of the sky for most observers. Join our 836 patrons! Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday The rings seem to be created by dust blown off into space by impacts on the planet’s moons. More stories at: https://www.universetoday.com/ It’s kind of like the book Seveneves, which you should totally read if you haven’t already. Finally, humans have put up an artificial ring in the past. In fact, we don’t have any rings at all. Sadly, the Earth doesn’t have rings like Saturn, and it probably never did. And More…, Episode 697: Interview: Theoretical Physicist Dr. Peter Woit, Episode 696: Open Space 94: Is It Realistic to Declare a "Free Mars"? Scientists are on the fence about Earth. This point is actually located about 5 astronomical units away from the Sun, in the asteroid belt. Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. And More…, Episode 695: Q&A 130: Does the Dark Forest Explain the Fermi Paradox? https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbJ42wpShvmkjd428BcHcCEVWOjv7cJ1G, Weekly email newsletter: Mars is much closer, so it’s very dry, while Jupiter is beyond the frost line, and its moons have plenty of water ice. It was all volcanoes, everywhere, all the time. One made of rock and dust, containing death and sorrow, from a pulverized asteroid or moon. Chad Weber – [email protected], Support Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain. If you’re talking about majestic ice rings, like we see around Saturn, Uranus or Jupiter, then no, Earth doesn’t have rings, and probably never did. It depends on how far they extend, but we wouldn’t be able to have any satellites in that region or cross the ring plane. Twitch: https://twitch.tv/fcain That’s the very definition of an astronomical unit, which means it’s well within the frost line. That would kinda suck for us, though. As mountains of ring material entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it would increase the temperature, baking and boiling away any life that couldn’t burrow deep underground. Furthermore, the rings themselves would be incredibly reflective, and completely ruin the whole concept of dark skies. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/universetoday And if there was an icy ring system around the Earth, the solar wind would have blasted it away long ago. Karla Thompson – @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw The Guide to Space is a series of space and astronomy poddcasts by Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, Episode 700: Interview: Wallace Arthur and the Biological Universe. Wallace Arthur is an evolutionary biologist and emeritus professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. And More…, Episode 695: Q&A 130: Does the Dark Forest Explain the Fermi Paradox? https://www.universetoday.com/newsletter, Weekly Space Hangout: This is similar to what happened to Comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 that eventually crashed into Jupiter. The Earth is a mere 1 AU from the Sun. What would it look like if Earth had rings? Twitch: https://twitch.tv/fcain Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Today-Ultimate-Viewing-Cosmos/dp/1624145442/, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/universe-today-guide-to-space-audio/id794058155?mt=2, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbJ42wpShvmkjd428BcHcCEVWOjv7cJ1G, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0-KklSGlCiJDwOPdR2EUcg/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUHI67dh9jEO2rvK–MdCSg, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw, Episode 699: Open Space 96: The End of the International Space Station? 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