The Solar System

Gas Giants

Do Saturn’s rings ever disappear?

Although the part of Saturn’s rings that can be seen in visible light measure more than 100,000 miles across, they are only about a mile or so (one or two kilometers) thick. That is why they sometimes seem to disappear from view here on Earth. When the orbit of Saturn is such that we see the rings edge-on, the rings look like a thin line and can be nearly invisible. The other parts of Saturn’s ring system can be seen only in infrared light at any time.


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