A graphic depicting  Earth and Saturn's rings to scale. Credit: John Brady/Astronomy Central.

If Earth Had Saturn’s Rings, This is What it Would Look Like

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

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We Earthlings love to dream, conjure and extrapolate. If you pose a question such as, “What if Earth had Saturn’s rings?” with all the resources available these days someone will not only answer the question but create some beautiful graphics to depict it! Yesterday, we saw this amazing graphic posted on reddit of a to-scale depiction of how Earth would look like with Saturn’s rings, and thanks to those who helped find the original source, the original image was created by John Brady at Astronomy Central. (We apologize… we originally credited the wrong person).

Of course, “What if Earth had Saturn’s rings?” is not a new question. In fact we’ve discussed it previously on Universe Today, and in 2013, illustrator and author Ron Miller put together some incredible visualizations of what Earth’s skies would look like with Saturn’s rings.

Also, last year someone on imgur put together a wonderful set of images of Earth with Saturn’s rings, as it would look from Earth’s Moon:

This video depicts rings around Earth, but the scale of the rings are not the size of Saturn’s:

Phil Plait discussed the problems that might arise for us if there were Earthrings, such as the rings would change the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth, and our view of the night sky would be hampered. And then Earth could potentially be shredded by ring debris.

Oh well, we can dream, can’t we?

See more great size comparisons of things in our Solar System and Universe at John Brady’s post on Astronomy Central, including a look at how many Earth’s would span across Saturn’s rings.

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FarAwayLongAgo
Member
FarAwayLongAgo
January 20, 2015 3:05 PM

It would be bad for geostationary satellites too, Saturn’s dense rings extend from 7,000 to 80,000 km and GEO is in the middle of it at 36,000 km. But people could watch the rings instead of TV.

No, actually, Saturns radius is 60,000 km, GEO would be inside Saturn’s atmosphere!

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