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The Lord of the Rings Discovered in Space – Saturn’s Rings Look Small

Be warned: The Lord of the Rings has been found, the real one in space! A team of astronomers from the Leiden Observatory located in The Netherlands and from the University of Rochester, New York, have obtained additional information about the ring system of the sun-like star J1407.

Rings start at a distance of around 30 million kilometers from the planet J1407, extending over a distance of 90 million kilometers
Photo credits:NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

The ring system of the exoplanet was discovered back in 2012 by a team of scientists, led by Eric Mamajek.

This planet is much larger than Jupiter or Saturn, and its ring system is roughly 200 times larger than Saturn’s rings are today,” said Mamajek. “You could think of it as kind of a super Saturn.”

The planet itself is around 10 to 40 times the mass of Jupiter.

The recently analysed data brought forth surprising facts about the rings.

The giant J1407b has a disk of around 30 rings, surpassing the ring of Saturn. Had they been around the latter, we would have seen them from our own planet very easily.

The huge rings, probably made of dust, 200 times bigger than those of Saturn, would have undoubtedly adorned our sky.

Matthew Kenworthy of the Leide Observatory in The Netherlands commented on the new discovery, saying:

It’d be huge! You’d see the rings quite easily from Earth“.

An artist’s version of the ring system eclipsing the young giant planet J1407b

Each of the 30 rings is tens of millions of miles in diameter.

Gaps in the rings were also observed, suggesting that exomoons might have been formed as satellites.


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