Astronomy

7 Facts about Saturns Rings



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When Saturn's rings were first discovered, Galileo originally thought that the rings were former baby planets eaten up by Saturn. Which follows the myth of Cronus eating his newborn children to prevent them from over throwing his reign when they got older. Which leads me into our first fact about Saturn's rings..

Fact #1. Modern astronomers still do not have any concrete theories as to how or why Saturn's rings were created, though their most modern hypothesis are not that far off from the ancient Cronus myth. Modern astronomers feel that the rings of Saturn were most likely formed in the early days of Saturns creation, when it used to be orbited by a moon larger than the size of earth. It is thought that the moon must have been covered in ice, or mostly made up of ice, and as it's orbit deteriorated, it started to descend towards Saturn and torn apart when it got to close, which sent pieces of the planet exploding out into the orbit of Saturn.

Fact #2. Regardless of knowing the creation of Saturn's rings, modern science and space exploration has allowed us to at least discover what Saturn's rings are made up of. With space probes free floating through Saturn's rings, we have discovered them to be made up of ice, water, gasses, impurities, moons, moonlets, rocks, dust and space junk.

Fact #3. Speaking of space junk and moons, even recent technological advancements, astronomers are still discovering new things in Saturn's rings. Saturn studiers have predicted that there are hundreds more moons and moonlets floating around in Saturn's rings, that we have yet to discover.

Fact #4. As amazing as it might seem, exploration around the rings of Saturn have found that the rings have their own atmosphere, and about a dozen hypothesis's as to how they developed.

Fact #5. Since recent discoveries, there are lots of arguments as to whether Saturn has one huge ring or several large rings that orbit around it. The argument stems from the fact that there really aren't any gaps in the ring around Saturn, even though it appears to be that way. Even in gaps supposedly created by orbiting moons, there are gasses, ice and compounds that fill up the gap but aren't thick enough to catch a lot of light. So it appears that there are gaps there. The ring also has different layers of density, which makes some parts of the ring appear huge and bright, where other parts are barely visible and don't look thick at all.

Fact #6. The rings (or ring) around Saturn doesn't stand still in one position, and in fact has it's own axis rotation around Saturn, just as Saturn has it's own axis. This is why about every 15 years, using a telescope, you can see Saturn's rings facing us, which makes them look like a flat disc around Saturn. When Galileo first discovered the rings, they were said to be facing this direction, and Galileo was surprised that they "disappeared" later when they went back to the opposing axis.

Fact #7.  The modern use of Wedding Rings was actually an ancient pagan practice that went along with handfasting. Saturn is very well known as a might powerful God who ruled over the good harvest. During Saturnalia, all things were good and merry, and it became a popular time to handfast or get married. Due to the myth that Saturn (or Cronus) ruled during the Golden Age, Gold has forever been the most meaningful metal to have for an engagement or wedding ring.


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