Skip to main content

Why does Saturn have rings?

Banner

Which planet name has the nicest ring to it? That's got to be Saturn! If you've ever looked through a telescope at the midnight sky, you might have seen the gas giant known as Saturn and its famous rings. Check out this beautiful photo taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Uranus and Neptune also have rings, but Saturn definitely has the biggest. These rings are made of ice, water, rocks and dust. Some pieces of the rings are as small as grains of sand and some are as large as a house! The rings stay by Saturn because of the large gravitational pull of the planet.

How did Saturn gain its rings? According to NASA, there are a few theories. One theory is that the rings are pieces of asteroids or comets trapped by Saturn's gravity. Another smashing idea is that the rings were once a moon that was destroyed by Saturn's gravity. As pieces of the moon broke apart, they crashed into each other, causing them to get smaller and form the rings.

Learn more about Saturn and our solar system with books that are out of this world!

Recommended Reads