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Why some planets have rings | why are some plantes sorrounded by rings | science facts | space news |

 Why are some plantes sorrounded by rings?

Planet saturn

Why other planets like Uranus and saturn have rings?

For a very long time, Saturn was thought to be the only planet in our solar system that has rings. 

The rings around Saturn were discovered about 400 years ago by an astronomer named Galileo Galilei. 

He used a very simple telescope he built himself with a lens and pointed the planets in the night sky. One of the first objects he saw was Saturn. 

At first he thought that Saturn had two large moons on either side of the planet because his telescope was not very good and produced only very blurry images.

Since then, astronomers – who study the universe and everything in it, like the planets – have used bigger and better telescopes to find the rings around all the outer gas giant planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. Unlike the other planets in our system, these planets consist largely of gas.

We're not sure how rings work or how they form, but there are some theories.

Different theories.

The first theory states that the rings formed at the same time as the planet. Some of the gas and dust particles from which the planets are made were far from the center of the planet and could not be broken together by gravity. They were left behind to create the Ring System.

The second theory, is that the rings were formed when the planet's two moon, which had formed at the same time as the planet, somehow got disturbed/ distructed in their orbits and eventually crashed into each other (an orbit is the circular path that the moon travels on around the planet). 

The stuff that was left behind in this huge smash could not come together again to form a new moon. Instead, it spread out into the ring systems we see today.

Since we still don't know the correct theory, but we keep on exploring and testing different theories.

We do know that the rings around different planets are slightly different from each other, but they all share some characteristics as well.

First, they are all much wider than they are supposed to be. For example, Saturn's rings are about 280,000 km wide (extending away from the planet), but only 200 meters thick. It's like a normal pancake on your plate for breakfast which is 14 km wide.

The other thing that all ring systems share is that they are all made of small particles of ice and rock. 

The smallest of these particles are no larger than a grain of dust, while the largest particles are about 20 meters in diameter – about the size of a school hall. 

All the rings around the planets also have gaps that are sometimes several kilometers wide and at first no one could figure out why. 

We later learned that the gaps were caused by tiny moons that swallowed up all the material in that particular part of the ring system. 

The biggest difference between Saturn's rings and other gaseous planets is that the particles that make up Saturn's rings are very good at reflecting light from the Sun back to Earth. 

This means they appear very bright, which is why we can see the rings from Earth using a normal telescope. 

The extremely large number of particles trapped in Saturn's rings also makes the rings very large and wide; This is another reason why they are easier to see than the rings of other gas giant planets.

The particles that make up the rings of Uranus and Neptune contain elements that were darkened by the Sun. 

These black particles look similar to chunks of coal or charcoal you use to start a fire. This makes them more difficult to see because they don't reflect that much of the sunlight back to us.

New discoveries.

This is an exciting time for astronomy. More and more satellites and space probes are being launched from around the world, allowing us to probe the outer planets of our solar system. 

That means astronomers will have a chance to study these rings – and hopefully one day, we'll be able to answer all your questions.


If you have any questions or any other theory that i am missing please tell me on a comment box.

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