Thing I will never get over: just how thin Saturn’s rings are.
(Image from @CassiniSaturn; info here: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA08166 …)
Just how thin are they? As little as 10m thick, and 300,000 km (!!) across. If you could scale them down enough to use as a hula hoop, they’d cut you in half! More numbers here https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/just-how-thin-are-saturns-rings …
Of course, the hula hoop example assumes they’d hold together. In actuality, the rings are made of billions of little specks of material (from dust grain size to giant boulders), made of water ice mostly, with a few rocks & some tiny moons, held in place by Saturn’s gravity.
Because the rings of Saturn are NOT solid, resonances in particle orbits and the motions of the tiny moons can create waves. Which are AMAZING. (All images here from @CassiniSaturn)
You can follow @AstroKatie.
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.
Enjoy Threader? Sign up.
Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.