Santanu Das

Researcher

Astro-QA #1 : Can we see Saturn's rings from its equator or from its poles?

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.

Leave a comment