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This image shows the different rings of Saturn. The dotted lines represent the paths of Saturn's moons.
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Ring Structure of Saturn

Did you know that Saturn has seven rings? Each one is named a letter between A and G! The rings A, B and C can be seen from Earth with a telescope. Jupiter and Uranus have rings too, but they aren't as bright as Saturn's.

Galileo first saw the rings, but he didn't know what they were! Later in 1655, Christian Huygens had a better telescope, so he proved they were rings. Another scientist named Cassini found a big gap between the A and B rings. It is now called the Cassini division.

The E, F and G rings can't be seen from Earth because they are too faint. So they weren't found until the Pioneer 11 and Voyager spacecrafts flew by Saturn in 1979. They also found a small gap called the Encke division.

Two of Saturn's moons are called shepherd satellites. They keep the F ring together!

Scientist found a huge new "ring" in 2009. The Phoebe Ring is about 100 times bigger than the main ring system. Scientists think the ice and dust in the ring comes from the strange moon Phoebe.


Last modified October 9, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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