• Question: Why is Saturn the only planet in our Solar system with rings around it?

    Asked by anon-181143 to Claudia on 1 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Claudia Bonfio

      Claudia Bonfio answered on 1 Jun 2018:

      We don’t have a clear answer yet. The main hypothesis we have so far is that the rings are the icy remnants of a moon. When Saturn and its satellites formed 4.5 billion years ago, one of Saturn’s large moons formed too close to the planet to maintain a stable orbit. The moon started spiraling inward, and as it did, Saturn’s gravity ripped away its icy outer layers and flung them into orbit to create the rings we see today.