10 Wonders of the Solar System


9. The Rings of Saturn

Scientific research has revealed that the glorious rings of Saturn are estimated to be at least four billion years old, and they sprawl over the astounding width of 386,000 km, which makes up 240,000 miles. These rings feature an enormous size, and they are still strikingly thin. The thickness of Saturn’s rings is estimated to be around 30-300 feet, which is no more than 9 to 90 meters.

The rings are one of the oldest relics of the Solar System, dating back to 4.5 billion years, when Saturn first emerged as a planet. Many scientists and researchers have claimed that these rings are basically leftover materials that gathered after Saturn was born, while others argue that they are very likely to be the wasted remains of an old moon that could have been blown up due the dynamically powerful tidal forces of Saturn.

The rings of Saturn are breathtaking and they are dripping with mysterious fascination. Before the Cassini spacecraft blew up back in September 2017, it managed to provide NASA with an astounding amount of data that revealed the nearest D-ring of Saturn. This ring appeared to excreting an abundance of material towards the upper atmospheric layer with every passing second. Although the exact origins and nature of this material is unknown, it is composed of organic molecules as opposed to the familiar blend of rock, dust and ice.

The Rings of Saturn

The astronauts aboard the Cassini space mission and the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer group of researchers were extremely astonished to detect methane in the mass spectrometer. The spectrometer also detected traces of carbon dioxide, another unpredictable surprise. Earlier, the researchers believed that Saturn’s rings were largely made up of water, however, the closest rings reveal dense proof of contamination, which is a result of the organic molecules frozen in giant chunks of ice.

10. Moon Miranda’s Verona Rupes

The dizzying and astounding cliff face of the Verona Rupes situated on Miranda, a moon that is one of the tiniest satellites orbiting around Uranus, has been estimated to have a height of around 12 miles. It has been termed as the largest discovered cliff within the solar system, and given the name of Verona Rupes.

The face of cliff was first pictured back in 1986, while the Voyager 2 was flying across Uranus. Experts have sufficient evidence to believe that Verona Rupes has a 12 miles vertical drop, which is around 19 km or a staggering 63,360 feet. When compared with Canada’s Mount Thor, the highest cliff face across our globe, it has a comparatively meagre vertical drop spanning over 1250 meters, which is around 4,100 feet.

Moon Miranda’s Verona Rupes

This discovery was made when the io9 began deducting the quantitative data and revealed that because of the low presence of gravity on Miranda’s surface, if an astronaut was to take a dive down the top of Verona Rupes, he/she would definitely end up flying in air for at least 10-12 minutes. However, survival might not be impossible at all. Experts from the io9 believe that the low levels of gravity make the drop easy even without the need for a parachute, and even a low-key airbag would be sufficient to ensure survival with its cushioning support as you fall.


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