Saturn is six planets away from the sun. The second largest planet to share the solar system with Earth is Saturn. The only one that beats it in size is Jupiter. Five planets can be seen from Earth with the naked eye and Saturn is one of them. This includes the Saturn’s rings which span approximately 175,000 miles.
Composition of Saturn’s Rings
When looking at all known solar systems, Saturn’s rings are considered to be the most extensive. They are comprised of countless small particles, which are believed to be pieces of asteroids, comets or shattered moons, that are constantly orbiting the planet. The particles can range from a mere micrometer to larger meter in size. The atmosphere in the area of the rings is an oxygen atmosphere.
Why Saturn’s Rings Are So Bright
The ice particles that cover the elements of the rings are not yet covered in dark dust, giving them a bright appearance against the space sky. The rings are also unstable and rapidly rearranging themselves and experiencing high-speed collisions. This is due to all of the moons on Saturn and their gravitational effects. These forces are also responsible for creating the numerous gaps in the rings that vary in size from very small to quite large.
Groups of Saturn’s Rings
There are four primary groups of saturn’s rings and three additional groups that are narrower and fainter. Divisions are a type of gap that separates the groups of rings. In 1980, it was discovered by the Voyager that thousands of smaller rings make up the seven ring groups.
Since Saturn is a bit closer to Earth, this makes it a little easier to scientists and researchers to get information about the planet. It is known for its rings, but it is also the second largest planet, making it one that certainly dominates the solar system.