What does the word “Ring” conjure up in your head? Maybe you think wedding ring, boxing ring, Ring Ring, the ABBA song, or perhaps even battered onion rings…. Mmmm that has got me feeling hungry! For me it has connotations with a planet that is visible in the night sky in June 2013, and that planet is Saturn.
The ringed Planet in all its glory(Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and is the second largest in the solar system. A day on Saturn is 10 hours 39 minutes long, and it takes 29.5 Earth years to revolve about the Sun. The atmosphere is primarily composed of hydrogen with small amounts of helium and methane. At the last count it had 62 Moons, but it is another feature of this gas planet which makes it spectacular, its ring system.
Although the other gas giants in the solar system, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, also have rings, those of Saturn are without a doubt the most extraordinary. They are by far the biggest and brightest and can be seen from Earth with even the smallest of telescopes. They are distinct and without doubt make ...