Saturn’s rings: less than meets the eye? It seems intuitive that an opaque mater…


Saturn’s rings: less than meets the eye? It seems intuitive that an opaque material should contain more stuff than a more translucent substance. For example, muddier water has more suspended particles of dirt in it than clearer water. Likewise, you might think that, in the rings of Saturn, more opaque areas contain a greater concentration of material than places where the rings seem more transparent. But some parts of Saturn’s B ring are up to 10 times more opaque than the neighboring A ring, but the B ring may weigh in at only two to three times the A ring’s mass.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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