The Cassini space probe is flying through Saturn's rings. Are the rings of Saturn very old, perhaps as old as the planets formation itself, or are they very young and being refreshed as we observe them?
A key objective is to determine the mass and therefore the age of the rings. The more massive they are, the older they are likely to be - perhaps as old as Saturn itself ...
We still need to understand the rings' composition. They are made of very nearly pure water-ice. If they're very old, formed at the same time as Saturn, how come they still look so fresh when they're constantly bombarded with meteorite material?
One possibility is that the rings are actually very young, perhaps the remains of a giant comet that got too close to Saturn and broke apart into innumerable fragments.
Nasa waits on Cassini radio contact from Saturn | BBC
Are Saturn's rings very young or old?
How old the Saturn rings are from data collected will always depend on interpretation and theory.
Some plasma mythology and solar system cosmogony interpretations suggest that the rings are very young, perhaps their formation even witnessed in the recent past.
Is the ring material fresh from being electrically excavated from Saturn's moons or created in electrochemical reactions between Saturn and the Suns plasma wind?
Update 2 May 2017 - Very, very young Saturn rings?
The first results from Cassini has implied that the rings it initially went through are very thin or lightweight - the 'big empty'.
This could be interpreted, using the logic of the scientists above, to mean that Saturn's rings are very very young.
Using EU theory and comparative mythology perhaps very recent or new, in relationship to humans history and our folklore.
Does it also mean that this particular ring could be made of electrically machined material? Possible electric discharge maching (EDM) of Saturn's moons creating very fine particles?
The American space agency says the Cassini satellite encountered very few particles as it dived between Saturn and its rings last week ... But the latest analysis indicates there were hardly any impacts and those particles the probe did strike were only smoke-sized. "The region between the rings and Saturn is 'the big empty,' apparently,"
Cassini ran through the 'big empty' | BBC