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'Super Saturn' has gigantic ring system

Posted on Friday, 30 January, 2015 | Comment icon 6 comments

The distant world possess a huge system of more than 30 rings. Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers have found a planet with rings over 200 times larger than those found around Saturn.
The discovery marks the first time that a ring structure has been observed around a planet outside of our own solar system.

Located around 420 light years away in the constellation of Centaurus, the new planet possesses at least 30 individual rings, each stretching for tens of millions of kilometers.
The ring system is so large that if it were to exist around Saturn it would appear several times larger than the moon in the sky.

Scientists believe that gaps in the rings indicate the presence of moons that have been formed by the ring material coalescing - a process that has also been observed around Saturn.

"The planetary science community has theorised for decades that planets like Jupiter and Saturn would have had, at an early stage, disks around them that then led to the formation of satellites," said Prof Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester.

The ring system was found thanks to data collected by the SuperWASP observatory which looks for extrasolar planets by detecting when one passes in front of its parent star.

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)

Tags: Extrasolar Planet, Exoplanet, Rings

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun on 27 January, 2015, 19:50
This Planet's Awesome Ring System Puts Saturn's to Shame January 27, 2015 at 8:00:00 AM by John Wenz | Saturn may have the largest set of rings in our solar system, but it has nothing on J1407b. That planet, located about 433 light years away, has a ring system stretching out 200 times the distance of Saturn’s. They’re so big that if Saturn had them, we’d see the rings clearly from Earth in broad daylight. The planet is huge—10 to 40 times more massive than Jupiter, and so big that it might actually fall be a brown dwarf, or a failed star. Astronomers spotted J1407b because that huge ring syst... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 on 30 January, 2015, 21:55
I wish we had this in our sky to see...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ellapennella on 31 January, 2015, 6:37
Saturn's rings exhibit similarity of groves on a vinyl album
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 31 January, 2015, 8:07
Saturn's rings exhibit similarity of groves on a vinyl album hahahah, yeah.... if only we could put a needle on that record.... but seriously.... as a kid, i always found Saturn to be my "favourite Planet", due to the uniqueness and beauty of its ring system. Then i learned that it's not THAT special, because Neptune has some fancy rings as well....But this is an amazing discovery that boggles my simple mind. I can see that Saturn can keep its now tiny-appearing rings in place with its gravitational pull, but SUCH a huge ring!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ellapennella on 31 January, 2015, 14:09
@Jacques yeah it's like one big transmission system. Saturn's beautiful , Neptune too.sometimes I listen to the sounds of the planets recorded at different times. The storm on Saturn moves in perfect sync to the sounds that it emits. it also forms a 6 sided hexagon with an eye in the center.some phenomenon that is. pretty cool.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 31 January, 2015, 14:22
it also forms a 6 sided hexagon with an eye in the center.some phenomenon that is. pretty cool. ouuuuuuh YEAAAAAAAAAAH!

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