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How thick are the rings of Saturn and Uranus?

Question #120807. Asked by unclerick.
Last updated Sep 15 2016.

Zbeckabee star
Answer has 3 votes
Currently Best Answer
Zbeckabee star
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 3 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Saturn's rings are wide, but very flat and thin. They are around 45,000 miles wide, but only 500 feet thick. As a result, the rings appear to disappear when they are observed from the side.
Uranus' outermost and most massive ring, called the Epsilon Ring, is only about 100 kilometers wide and probably less than 100 meters thick. The other ten dark and narrow rings have a combined mass less than the Epsilon Ring. The six rings of Neptune are less significant than Uranus' and the ring particles are not uniformily distributed in the rings. Like Saturn's F ring, the rings of Uranus and Neptune are kept narrow by shepherd satellites. The narrowness and even clumpiness of the rings means that the rings can last for only a short time---a million years or so, unless the rings are replenished by material ejected off the moons in large collisions.



Response last updated by Terry on Sep 15 2016.
Mar 22 2011, 7:42 PM
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