Rings main content.

Rings

Part of Hall of the Universe.

Rings_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin
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.

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

Ring Systems

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.