Rings main content.

Rings

Part of Hall of the Universe.

Rings_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

Exhibition Text

All of the gas giant planets have rings. Saturn has thousands of brightly reflective rings, whereas the others have just a few dark rings. Rings are made of ice or rock particles ranging up to house-size boulders. Collisions among particles keep the rings extremely thin. Rings may be left over from a planet’s formation, or they may be debris from the destruction of moons.

For Educators

Topic: Astronomy

Subtopic: Planets

Keywords: Planets--Origin, Satellites, Saturn, Planetary rings

Audience: General

Saturn’s rings are several hundred thousand kilometers across, yet only one hundred meters thick.