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This Ancient Moon Could Answer Cosmic Mysteries According To Scientists
Saturn’s spectacular rings and bizarre 27-degree planetary tilt have long stumped researchers trying to make sense of the worlds beyond our own. Recently, scientists have formulated and rigorously tested a new theory that explains both of these phenomena are due to one of Saturn’s former moons.
Researchers believe that a moon roughly the same size as Iapetus destabilized and collided with Saturn’s surface. There are two different ideas of what occurs when a moon collides with a planet — either a small moon is destroyed by the atmosphere resulting in rings surrounding the planet, or a large moon impacts the surface and sets off a chain reaction of seismic activity.
Data from the Cassini satellite has found that an ancient moon researchers have named Chrysalis is the culprit behind both events, as evidence suggests Saturn’s tilt began 160 million years ago, aligning with the disintegration of the moon Chrysalis. This impact is also believed to have affected Saturn’s gravitational relationship with Neptune through a phenomenon known as orbital resonance.