Posted 11 апреля 06:38

Published 11 апреля 06:38

Modified 11 апреля 06:51

Updated 11 апреля 06:51

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Magnetized ice: Russian scientists have learned how Saturn's rings appeared

11 апреля 2023, 06:38
Thanks to the discovery of the Cherny-Kapranov effect, the problem of motion of a magnetized ice particle in the gravitational and magnetic fields of Saturn was solved for the first time in 400 years.

Vladimir Cherny, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Our thirty years of research into the influence of Saturn's magnetic field on the origin of the rings led to the discovery of a new phenomenon in astrophysics – the Cherny-Kapranov effect, which shows how Saturn itself created the rings using its magnetic field.

An article with this title was published in the international scientific journal: Physics & Astronomy International Journal, 2023.

In 1610, the great Italian scientist G. Galileo first saw the rings of Saturn, a cosmic miracle of the solar system. We are amazed by their beauty and uniqueness. However, 400 years after this discovery, scientists have not been able to find an answer to the question of the origin of Saturn's dense rings, which Galileo observed, and we see through a telescope.

To understand the importance and mystery of the problem of the origin of Saturn's dense rings, it is enough to imagine a ring system consisting of separated particles and pieces of ice enclosed in a huge virtual sombrero with a thickness of 10 to 100 meters with a width along a radius of more than 200 thousand km. It may seem that this whole giant system is being held by some unknown magical forces and therefore the sombrero of rings seems to be hanging in outer space around Saturn, which has a diameter of 120 thousand km. 1 shows that the rings are transparent. This confirms the fact that they mainly consist of transparent water ice. If we compare the ratio of the thickness to the length of the A4 sheet, then the ratio of the thickness of the rings to their diameter will be thousands of times less.

The history of the study of the origin of Saturn's rings is such that in all existing models it was assumed that the rings were formed from fragments of space objects flying past Saturn the size of its satellite Titan. As they approach the planet, they are destroyed by its gravitational forces. Unfortunately, this approach and other exotic theories do not explain the origin of the rings and the phenomena observed in them.

To explore Saturn and its fantastic rings, NASA organized unique space missions - Pioneer-11 (1979), Voyager-1 (1980), Voyager-2 (1981), and a technologically phenomenal Cassini robot probe was created by NASA, the European and Italian Space Agencies, which for 13 years, from 2004 to 2017 worked in orbits around Saturn, collecting unique data. However, more than 300 scientists from 20 countries who participated in these experiments could not get an answer to the question about the origin of Saturn's rings. Discussions continue today.

The merit of the authors is that for the first time they solved a fundamental mathematical problem and proved that Saturn itself created its rings not only with the help of a gravitational field, but, most importantly, also with the help of its magnetic field. It is thanks to the action of the magnetic field that the rings are fixed on the equator of the planet, have stability and stability. The American Astronomical Society has published our article in the world's leading astrophysical journal: The Astrophysical Journal, 2020, 894, 1. It can be found on the journal's website.

Similar ideas and hypotheses about the influence of Saturn's magnetic field on the origin of the rings were expressed earlier by Russian scientists in the publications of A. Pospelov, S. Girich, E. Chensky, S.Kapranov, who worked under the leadership of V. Cherny. They attempted qualitative modeling of the physical process of ring formation. We reported this to the readers of Novye Izvestia on May 29.2020 and April 10, 2021.

But the final fundamental mathematical proof of the important role of Saturn's magnetic field for the origin of the rings was obtained by V. Cherny and S. Kapranov, which was reflected in the above-mentioned articles in The Astrophysical Journal, May 2020 and in the title of an invited article in Physics & Astronomy International Journal, March 2023.

Based on our mathematical solution, a fascinating popular science film was created in the West, explaining in detail the origin of the rings taking into account the magnetism of Saturn: The Mystery of Saturn's rings solved by magnetism?          

The Cherny-Kapranov effect consists in the fact that ice particles and ice pieces of the protoplanetary cloud surrounding Saturn are magnetized by the magnetic field after its appearance. An additional force of diamagnetic ejection begins to act on the ice pieces of the protoplanetary cloud, and a process of magnetic anisotropic accretion occurs. As a result, the orbits of the particles begin to shift into the plane of Saturn's magnetic equator, where the magnetic energy of the particles is of the least importance. As a result, a stable ring system is formed at the equator of the planet. This process of magnetic anisotropic accretion of ice particles represents a new astrophysical Cherny-Kapranov effect. For the first time in 400 years, the problem of motion of a magnetized ice particle in the gravitational and magnetic fields of Saturn has been solved. The formation of rings is facilitated by the fact that the gravitational field of the planet has spherical symmetry, and the magnetic field is axisymmetric and it has a magnetic equator.

The achievement of the new theory is that it is the only one that explains and mathematically proves the observed separation of particles of dense rings.

The phenomenon of magnetic anisotropic accretion (the Cherny-Kapranov effect) was first announced and recognized as a new phenomenon in astrophysics during an interview with Vladimir Cherny on September 18, 2020, proposed by the American Astronomical Society after the publication of the above-mentioned article by the authors with a mathematical solution to the problem in The Astrophysical Journal. 

The results of our research related to the fundamental mathematical solution of the problem of the origin of Saturn's rings were reported at fifteen international conferences in 2019 – 2022 in Russia, the USA, China, Australia and Europe. In 2021, V. Cherny delivered an invited three-hour lecture at the General Assembly of the International Radio Union URSI GASS 2021 in Rome.