Rings of Saturn is extremely thin, although their diameter of about 250,000 km, the thickness does not exceed 1.5 km. Saturn is surrounded by three rings (A, B, and C)that, as the planet's equator, is inclined to the plane of its orbit at an angle of 26°45’. There is a weaker ring D, E, F. on closer examination of the rings is even more.
The inner part of the rings rotate faster than the outer.
The outer ring is separated from the medium dark gap - a gap Cassini. The middle ring is the brightest. From the inner ring it is also separated by a dark interval. Internal dark and translucent ring is called crepe. The edge of his blurred, the ring is gradually winding down.
These rings are made of dust, pieces of ice and stones. Their sizes range from centimeters to several meters.
Why rings are flat? Their form is the result of two forces: gravity (gravity) and centrifugal. The gravitational pull compress them from all sides. Rotation of the rings prevents compression across the axis of rotation, but cannot prevent it from flattening along the axis.
Where did they come from? On this account there are two hypotheses.
According to the first theory, rings appeared in the crash careless satellite, comet or asteroid is approaching the Saturn. The destruction of the "alien" body could occur due to the influence of tidal forces of the giant Saturn, literally tore his "scraps" to its powerful attraction. Calculations showed that if the satellite is formed at such a distance, which are rings, then he would have broken under the action of tidal forces on small fragments.
Another hypothesis is that the rings of Saturn is near the remains of a huge cloud. From the outer regions of the cloud formed satellites and interior are still in a fragmented state, i.e. in the form of rings. They were unable to build the satellites due to intermittent attraction of Saturn, too randomly rotated and sodalis, and because of this constantly crushed, so come to a friable condition that crumble at the slightest push.
Did you know that...
• First, the rings of Saturn were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. He saw in his telescope a very vague image: Saturn was as if two ears, or appendage: the rings of Saturn looked two foggy spots on each side of the planet. Galileo thought it can be great companions: "most remote of the planets observed triple". According to the figurative expression of Galileo, the appendages resembled "two servants who support the old Saturn (the God of time by the ancient Romans) in his tedious journey across the sky".
• In addition to rings Saturn has 62 satellite. The most famous and large - Titanium. It is the only satellite in the Solar system, which detected the atmosphere.