The Rings of Saturn

Those rings of Saturn have always fascinated many.

Saturn is considered to have the most illuminant, extensive, and visible planetary ring compared to all of the other planets in the solar system. The ring itself ranges of particles that are micrometers to metres, which is how these rings become so vibrant.

In 1610 Galileo Galilei, was the first documented individual to actually sight and record data about these mysterious circular rings. However, in 1655 Christiaan Huygens was the first to actually describe them as discs around the planet Saturn. These discs were not correctly and accurately described until 1859, when James Clerk Maxwell claimed that all prior theories about the rings being solid were incorrect. Instead Maxwell opted to the belief that these discs were indeed tiny particles, because if they were solid they would not be sustainable and break apart.

The rings themselves are comparably dense, and range from 7,000 km to 80,000 km above the equator of Saturn. The large gaps that are apparent within these discs are named after Giovanni Domenico Cassini, in which the Cassini Division was developed. The Cassini Division claims that the apparent rings around Saturn are not attached, but rather have large gaps in between them. These rings are often considered independent from the planet due to their ability to create their own atmosphere. The rings are able to sustain their own atmosphere because of the chemical property which consists of ice water. The sun emits rays that reflect on the rings in which the atmosphere is formed.

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