Have you heard the latest? Its true! NASA has discovered a new ring around Saturn and “its the largest planetary ring seen yet in the solar system” (Reuters). Apparently the ring’s particles are barely visible but shine with thermal radiation and were picked up by the infra-red Spitzer Space Telescope. The amazing thing is that the ring starts at about 6 million kilometres (3.7 million miles) from the planet – FAR from the original rings we have come to know and love – and “partly marks the orbit of Saturn’s distant moon Phoebe”. The ring extends about 13 million kilometres (8 million miles) and, as is put into perspective in this video, “is so huge it would take 1 billion earths to fill it”. WOW!
It goes to show you that what we’ve discovered about space in our own solar system is only a small fraction of what’s really out there.