October 7, 2009

New Ring detected around Saturn

We all know Saturn has rings. Well apparently, they found an new ring, this one being the biggest in the solar system in terms of planetary rings. Jupiter must be jealous.

An enormous halo of dust that circles Saturn and dwarfs its more familiar rings has been discovered by astronomers.

The ring, the largest in the solar system, surrounds the planet from a distance of 8m miles, about 50 times further out than the others.

It is also unusual in that it wraps the planet at an angle of roughly 27 degrees, while the planet's other rings surround the equator.

Anne Verbiscer, research scientist at the University of Virginia, said that if the ring were visible from Earth, it would be twice the size of the full moon.

"There's nothing else like it in the solar system. You could fit a billion Earths inside it," she said.

While Saturn's regular rings are only metres thick, the new one is around 1.55m miles thick.

Much like Americans, the waistline of Saturn seems to be expanding...

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