Latest Update

Why are some Planets Surrounded by Rings?


Published on: December 18, 2022,

Planets like Jupiter and Saturn are surrounded by rings.  Planets are surrounded by rings because they are made of particles that orbit the planet. These particles are made of variety of materials such as rock, ice and dust. The rings are formed when objects in the planet’s surrounding space such as comets, asteroids or moon break up and their debris is pulled into planet’s gravitational fields. The particles began to orbit and that’s how ring was formed.


Saturn was thought to be only planet in our solar system with rings for a very long time. Galileo Galilei discovered the ring in Saturn nearly 400 years ago. He used a very simple telescope that he made himself from lenses and pointed it at the planets in the night sky. At first he thought the Saturn had two large moons on either side of the planet because his telescope was not good and  produced blurry images. Astronomers have used bigger and bigger telescope to find rings around all of the outer gas giant planets. Here are few theories about how the rings were formed.


The first theory states that rings formed as the same time as planet. Some particles of gas and dust that the planets are made of were far away from the core planet and could be smushed together by gravity. And they remained behind to form the ring system.


According to the second theory the rings were formed when two of the moons of the planet which had formed at the same time as the planet got disturbed in their orbits and eventually collided with each other. The huge crash could not come together again to form a new moon. And it spread out into ring systems we see today.


This is exciting time for astronomy. More and more satellites and space probes are being launched from all over the world and which allows us to investigate the outer planets of our solar system. With these new satellites astronomers will have the chance to study these rings and one day all of our questions will be answered and we will have a clear idea on how these rings were formed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *