I was reading an article about a ring that was destabilized out of orbit on one of Saturns moons. I got there by looking for mountains because of this question (unrelated mostly). Here's a picture of a mountain range on Iapetus that this article claimed could be a mountain range formed by a ring that crashed to the planet:
Same moon, zoomed out more:
I want to ask how a ring would get destabilized and collide with a planet's surface to create a mountain range that is 20km tall and along a linear path. I can't really picture how it would be disrupted in a way that would cause it to be pulled toward the planets surface all at once.
- If there are misconceptions in my question, that's an answer (if it is bigger than a comment).
My hypothesis on what I misunderstood:
- The mountain range
may not encircle the planet entirely, I didn't find info on that.does not seem to encircle the whole planet.
- If the mountain range is only on 1/2 of the moon, would a planetary pass between the moon and Saturn cause additional pull on the ring and allow a collapse to the surface? Below is an image of the terrain annotated to point out why I think this.
- Is there still a partial ring in orbit? Or would a destabilization as I've described it pull the other half away and out of a local orbit of Iapetus?
If this is better served to astronomy-- migrate (I will not be offended and cannot do it myself)...