What's up with Saturn's rings? (NASA)
What's up with Saturn's rings?
Lexile

You asked us, "What's up with Saturn's rings?"
 
Although Saturn can be seen with the naked eye, its rings are invisible without a telescope. Galileo was the first to spot them. That was in 1610.
 
And there are 7 creatively named rings. They span up to about 175,000 miles wide. That is roughly 3/4 of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
 
The gigantic rings are super thin, though. And some are just 30 feet high.
 
The rings look continuous. But they aren't. They're made of billions of particles, from dust-sized frozen grains to much larger pieces of water ice and rocky particles wrapped in ice. The frozen grains whirl around Saturn in different orbits.
 
We don't know how the rings formed or when. It could have been as early as when Saturn came to be. Or as late as when dinos roamed the Earth.
 
But we do know that the rings aren't static. Their formation is a continuous process.
 
Thanks to tech like the probes we've been sending to Saturn since the late 1970s, we're making new discoveries all the time.
 
We're even identifying new rings. A 7.4-million-mile-wide behemoth was discovered in 2009.
 
And that's just one of the many reasons why you've gotta love science.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How can particles appear as rings?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (45)
  • tyvisz-rob
    9/18/2015 - 09:51 a.m.

    I think the rocky parts wraped around in ice that whirl around.

    • kevinx-tam
      1/04/2016 - 01:19 p.m.

      Wow

    • emiliox-tam
      1/04/2016 - 01:28 p.m.

      I think yes

  • christianp-rob
    9/22/2015 - 10:02 a.m.

    Saturn rings are very wide they have about 3/4 0f the distance bewteen the Earth and the Moon.

  • tianat-rob
    9/22/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    The particles appear as rings by frozen grains roaming around saturn.

  • marlenc-rob
    9/22/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    I think by how the earth move around in circle that's how it could particles appear as rings.

  • christopher-hym
    9/22/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    1.How close can astronauts get to the sun?

    2.Can water be pored on the moon?

    3.Is ther another galaxy being explored?

  • giovanni-hym
    9/22/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    1. I would like to know what Pluto is made of?
    2. I want to know how many gallons of gas are in stars?
    3. I also want to know if galexes are in solar systems or if solar systems are galexes.

  • garrett-hym
    9/22/2015 - 02:16 p.m.

    Is how it tarns into rings is maby it spins and how many time it might spin makes the rings biger.

  • john-hym
    9/22/2015 - 02:17 p.m.

    1.I want to know if a rocket ship can fly to Neptune and back without running out of fuel?
    2.What is the biggest planet discovered in the soler system so far.
    3.What is the one of the stars name.

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