Astro-QA #1 : Can we see Saturn's rings from its equator or from its poles?
- January 15, 2018
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Above the cloud tops and neglecting refraction, geometry dictates that you’d see nothing from the poles. As you moved toward the equator, the bright A ring would start coming into view at latitude 66° (roughly that of Iceland on Earth). All of the A and B rings would appear by the time you reached 52°. Not until latitude 39° would the inner edge of ring C (the crepe ring) be seen.
Exactly at the equator you would still see the rings. We know this because, even when perfectly edge-on, they are faintly visible from Earth. But they’d form the thinnest imaginable streak, subtending less than 1 miles in thickness.