Saturn’s rings will apparently ‘disappear’ from view in 2025, a phenomenon caused by the planet’s rotation on an axis.
The planet won’t actually lose its rings in 2025, but they will turn on edge, meaning they will be essentially invisible to Earthlings.
What is this phenomenon about?
Because the planet rotates on an axis tilted 26.7 degrees, the view of its rings from Earth changes over time.
Every 13 to 15 years, Earth sees Saturn’s rings edge-on, meaning they reflect very little light and are very difficult to see, making them essentially invisible.
The rings were last edge-on in 2009 and will be exactly edge-on on March 23, 2025.
After being on edge in 2025, the rings will be visible a few months later.
A day on Saturn (the time it takes to make one rotation) only lasts 10.7 hours, but it takes about 29.4 Earth years to complete its orbit around the Sun.
Like Earth, Saturn experiences seasons, which is due to its rotations about an axis.
In 2018, NASA said its Voyager 1 and 2 missions confirmed decades ago that Saturn is losing its rings.
“The rings are being pulled toward Saturn by gravity as a dust shower of ice particles under the influence of Saturn’s magnetic field,” the agency said.