Segments in this Video

Saturn's Rings (09:40)


Saturn's rings look serene from Earth, but within those rings are collisions and chaos as rocks and icy rubble stay in continual motion. Each of Saturn's seven rings is made of trillions of particles and is held in place by the balance of gravity.

Origin of Saturn's Rings (06:50)

Three theories about the origin of Saturn's rings are hotly debated in the scientific community. In the outermost ring of Saturn, scientists discovered salts and carbonates.

Cassini Spacecraft and Saturn's Moons (05:21)

The Cassini spacecraft was launched into space in 1997. After 7 years, it joined Saturn's orbit and since then has taken pictures and collected data for scientists on Earth. Saturn's moons affect the shape of the planet's rings.

Planets with Ring Systems (07:44)

More than three hundred years after Galileo first saw the rings of Saturn, scientists discovered another ringed planet: Uranus. Soon after, scientists discovered more planets with ring systems, including Neptune and Jupiter.

Neptune's Rings (03:56)

Images of Neptune by Voyager 2 in 1989 showed a ring system of several faint rings, the outermost of which contains three prominent arcs.

Rings of the Sun (01:25)

After the birth of the universe, debris formed into planets, moons, or became part of ring systems. The sun has two rings: the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt.

Ringed Planets in Other Solar Systems (02:05)

The Kepler Mission is designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets.

Rings on Mars? (02:18)

In 2006, NASA dispatched the New Horizons spacecraft that is now halfway between Earth and Pluto, on approach for a dramatic flight past the icy planet and its moons in July 2015. Scientists speculate whether Mars has a ring system.

Earth's Rings (03:58)

At one time, giant hunks of red-hot rock formed a temporary ring around Earth. As the rock cooled, a large portion of the debris formed Earth's moon. Today, Earth's ring is made up of satellites in a geosynchronous orbit.

Credits: The Hunt for Ringed Planets (00:28)

Credits: The Hunt for Ringed Planets

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The Hunt for Ringed Planets

Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Planetary rings contain the story of the birth of the Solar System and entire distant galaxies. This program looks at Saturn’s rings and then hunts for rings around Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Mars, and even Earth. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe. (45 minutes)

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL43153

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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