Saturn’s Enormous Ring
A ring system
The one thing everyone thinks of when Saturn is mentioned is its vast array of rings. And while it’s certainly not the only planet with a ring system, they’re definitely the most spectacular example. What we didn’t know until recently is that Saturn’s ring system extends much farther than we first thought.The ring, made of dust and ice, has eluded discovery for so long because it’s almost invisible, and if you don’t look at it in infrared, it’s easy to miss. The sheer size of the ring is hard to visualize—it begins 6 million kilometers (3.7 million miles) from Saturn and extends all the way out to 12 million kilometers (7.5 million miles). It’s 20 times as thick as the planet’s height, and Saturn isn’t small. You’d have to use one billion Earths to fill the space the ring takes up.