Unnoticed sensation: Russian scientists unraveled the mystery of Saturn's rings

Unnoticed sensation: Russian scientists unraveled the mystery of Saturn's rings

16 May , 13:23Science
Astronomers and astrophysicists since the time of Galileo, who discovered the rings of Saturn in 1610, could not explain the nature of this phenomenon.

In January 2020, at the international conference of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu, three Russian scientists presented a sensational report. No one wrote about it in Russia.

Ivan Petrovsky

3600 participants from different countries out of 36 thousand members of the company worked for 400 sections. The conference turned into a world festival of astronomy. The winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics, J. Peebles, for their contribution to understanding the evolution of the Universe, and M. Major and D. Kelo for the discovery of an exoplanet in the orbit of a sun-like star were welcomed. The features of gravitational waves and the generation of radiation by black holes were discussed. They argued with J. Mather about the reality of the big bang and the followers of the rapidly expanding universe of A. Riis. Doubted that the evolution of the Universe can be determined by the laws of spatial geometry. They said that, most likely, it is associated with the dynamics of the energy of the proton and electron. And maybe the famous D. Gross is right, calling for the creation of Planck scale physics, which will determine the hidden parameters of the physical vacuum, calculate the observed physical constants, explain the exit of light from black holes, the mismatch of masses of inertia and gravity, build a unified field theory, find a connection between electromagnetic theory and physics of elementary particles and more.

I was surprised by the review report on black holes, presented by 250 co-authors from 10 countries and 20 institutes. This is a really effective cooperation of scientists of the world. It was noticeable that US scientists are going into a scientific breakthrough. Indeed, in astronomy and astrophysics it is difficult to find new physical ideas, the success of research is mainly determined by the capabilities of unique tools. Their Hubble orbiting telescope, coupled with 260 ground-based observatories, has made 10 discoveries in 30 years. And the proposed launch in 2021 into the orbit of the Webb telescope with a mirror diameter of 6.5 m. Will allow you to look deep into the Universe for 13 billion light-years. This will help to solve the problems of space security. It is a pity that Russia was presented at the AAS 235 conference with only one report.

Interest in the problem of the rings of Saturn is caused by the fact that Galileo, known since the time of their discovery 410 years ago, in 1610, has still not disclosed the nature of their appearance. Even after three missions to Saturn - Pioneer-11 (1979), Voyager-1 (1980), Voyager-2 (1981), and virtuoso work in the orbit of Saturn for 13 years (2204-2017), a phenomenal technological execution of the Cassini probe, scientists from NASA, the European and Italian space agencies, have not found a definite answer to the question about the origin, structural features and age of the mysterious rings, which everyone admire with their appearance ..

Known theories did not give a complete picture of the rings. NASA scientists rejected the classic theory of gravitational defragmentation of the origin of rings from the wreckage of an outstanding Soviet astrophysicist N.N. Gorky and A.M. Friedman (1990), because Cassini did not find in the rings of iron characteristic of asteroids. But this does not mean that gravity does not play a role in the formation of rings. They proved the important role of particle collisions in ring formation. Astrophysicist R. Kanap from Colorado (2010) actually repeated their theory, replacing the asteroid flying up to Saturn with an ice body the size of Titan.

However, the gravitational theory, the theory of dusty plasma, and the magnetohydrodynamic model do not all explain the origin of the rings and the phenomena observed in them from a single position. They do not answer the questions : why there are no rings near the Earth and planets between the Sun and the asteroid belt; why rings exist only on planets beyond the asteroid belt;

why the rings are in the plane of the magnetic equator of Saturn, and not in the plane of the ecliptic of the planets; why the particles of the rings do not stick together, but can collide; why the rings are flattened and have sharp edges; why in the ring B areas similar to spokes are formed; why there is a radial dust flow of small particles falling on the planet;

why is the filling of the rings of Saturn with ice particles from the emerging geysers of the Enceladus satellite; why is pulsed broadband ring emission observed; what explains the anomalous behavior of the spectral dependence of the rings in the submillimeter range, etc.

January 7, 2020 at the AAS 235 conference in Honolulu, a Russian physicist from the Institute of Modern Science, SAIBR Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Vladimir Cherny (co-authors Sergey Kapranov and Andrey Pospelov) with a pioneer report on the magnetic and quantum nature of the origin of the rings of Saturn. The report was accepted at the conference because it was the first to report a new look at the origin of Saturn's rings from the standpoint of electromagnetism and quantum superconductivity. The authors showed that the phenomena in space should be explained without mysticism, the laws of physics known in the earth's laboratory. The difficulty in perception of the theory by specialists is associated with an unusual pioneering proposal by the authors to turn to the natural superconductivity of matter in space. Although, at the same time, six Nobel Prizes have already been awarded for discoveries in the field of superconductivity, and astronomers have found many unusual things in space, including exoplanets from distant stars.

After a report at the AAS 235 conference, V. Cherny and his colleagues published a new theory of the origin of rings in arXiv, May 4, 2020 and The Astrophysical Journal, May 6, 2020. A digression is needed here. May 7, Russia celebrates Radio Day in honor of the creation by the Russian physicist A.S. Popov the first radio in 1895. In the language of science, in fact, is the Day of Electromagnetic Waves, the theory of which was created by the Englishman J. Maxwell in 1861/2. Electromagnetism has given humanity an incredible civilizational development. In 1991, the Internet appeared, and February 24, 2009 - the omnipotent WhatsApp. Interestingly, Maxwell also proved that the rings of Saturn are not hoops, but for stability they consist of separate particles. For this work he was awarded the Adams Prize (1857). But he believed that the rings would fall on the planet.

Since the RAS and Roscosmos were not invited to Cassini, three Russian scientists from Russia were the only participants, they put forward a new hypothesis of superconductivity of particles of rings, and developed it for 25 years. Even before Cassini's launch in 2004, they wrote letters to NASA with suggestions that took into account their vision of the problem. Published articles, made presentations at NASA, the Astronomical Institute, the US National Bureau of Standards, US universities and international conferences, advancing to the astronomical Olympus - AAS 235 conference in Honolulu and an article in The Astrophysical Journal.

Scientists have proven that, according to Cassini's measurements, particles consisting of 7% carbon and 93% ice are type II superconductors. This explains the formation of rings from the particles of the protoplanetary cloud of Saturn, the dynamic stability of the rings, their tight binding to the magnetosphere of the planet, the age of the rings, and the previously mentioned features and phenomena in the rings.

The ring formation mechanism is as follows. Our approach is based on the theory of V.S. Safronov "Evolution of the protoplanetary cloud and the formation of the Earth and planets", awarded the Schmidt and Kuiper Prizes. He is a famous scientist, for example, he was visited by an American astronomer Jack Burns, University of Colorado, Boulder, who visited him at an internship at Moscow State University.

In the space around Saturn, which has a magnetic field, the temperature of the rings is from -163 ° C to -203 ° C. These facts lead to the idea of possible superconductivity of the particles of rings. As physicists from Israel showed, a sample of small quantities superconducting carbon and a large amount of diamagnetic ice behaves like a type II superconductor. Its peculiarity is that if in an ideal superconductor the magnetic field is completely ejected from the sample due to the Meissner effect (1933), then the magnetic field is not completely ejected from the type II superconductor and part of the lines of force of the external magnetic field penetrates the sample, forming Abrikosov vortices (Nobel Prize 2003) - magnetic flux quanta.

Before the appearance of the magnetic field of Saturn, particles inside its protoplanetary cloud revolved around it according to Kepler’s laws under the influence of centrifugal force and gravity. The process of ring formation begins after the inclusion of the magnetic field of Saturn. On the superconducting particles of the protoplanetary cloud, an additional diamagnetic pushing force begins to act due to the Meissner effect. As a result, the orbits of the particles begin to drift into the plane of Saturn’s magnetic equator, where the magnetic energy of the particles has the least value. After of many particle collisions, all their orbits are in the plane of the planet’s magnetic equator, located at an angle to the plane of the ecliptic. A magnetic field is pushed out of each superconducting particle, this pushes them and makes the edges of the rings sharp. At the same time, particles can collide and form larger particles . Saturn's gravitational field is spherically symmetrical, and the magnetic field has a magnetic equator where the magnetic flux density is the lowest (the largest distance between the lines of force of the planet’s magnetic field).

As a result, the orbits of the particles form a rigid system in the plane of Saturn’s magnetic equator, which rotates with the magnetosphere of the planet. The particles are held vertically at the equator, where their energy is minimal. To move them up or down the meridian, the particles need additional energy. Horizontally, in the plane of the magnetic equator, the particles are kept from displacement by the fact that they are type II superconductors. This property prevents the particle from moving perpendicular to the lines of force of the magnetic field of Saturn. .This stabilization follows from the proof by Israeli scientists of the stability of the solution of the Ginzburg-Landau equation for superconductors.

The age of the formation of the system of rings of Saturn must be counted from the moment its magnetic field is turned on with the addition of the time spent moving the chaotic orbits of the particles into the plane of the planet’s magnetic equator and the time that has gone into numerous particle collisions.

Confirmation of this theory of the origin of Saturn rings from superconducting particles of a protoplanetary cloud, including the above facts, is the confirmation of this theory by measurements of the Cassini probe and especially the coincidence of the spectral dependences of Saturn rings in the submillimeter range with the same for superconductors.

The picture of Saturn's rings resembles a picture of an experiment from school physics when strips of iron filings and gaps between them form around a magnet on a laboratory table. If you remove the magnet from the table, then the Earth’s gravity will not help to create the same picture. If there is no magnet, then there is no picture with stripes.

The proposed theory does not reject the influence of gravity, plasma effects, and magnetohydrodynamic phenomena. She complements them and shows that the magnetic field of Saturn plays a crucial role in the origin of its rings.

In conclusion, I would like to once again mention the founder of the theory of electromagnetism, the great J. Maxwell, who proved that the rings are composed of separated particles, which anticipated knowledge by 150 years. It seems that to understand the nature of the origin of the rings of Saturn he had little left. Knowledge was needed on diamagnetism of ice, superconductivity II kind, superconductivity of carbon, the Landau-Ginzburg equation for superconductors and the availability of spectral devices of the modern level, such as those used by the Cassini probe. All this knowledge was acquired after Maxwell.

Based on the publications of authors in the West, they created a 4-minute film about the benefits of their theory for astronomy and astrophysics.

To familiarize with the final works of the authors of the theory, the following publications can be recommended.


Report at the International Conference of the American Astronomical Society, AAS 235, Honolulu, Jan. 4-8, 2020:


A preprint published May 4, 2020. Explains the physics of the origin of Saturn's rings:



A mathematical solution to the problem of the origin of rings.

Published 6.05.20. Vladimir V. Tchernyi and Sergey V. Kapranov.

Contribution of Magnetism to the Origin of Saturn's Rings.

The Astrophysical Journal, 2020, Vol. 894, No. 1.


4 min a film about the proposed theory, made by someone in the West, published July 31, 2019: https://youtu.be/AI6AaMJoR4A Name of the authors mentioned at 0:43 - 0:47 and 3:54 - 3:56.

The film was released after the publication of the preprint on July 8, 2019:


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