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What If Our Planet Had a Ring?

We’re very lucky to have particularly beautiful nighttime skies, with clear views of millions of stars and spectacular moonlight.

But what if our planet had a ring, too? For one, our sky would look much different. If we had rings similar to Saturn’s, it’s actually pretty easy to figure out what they would look like. Take a look at illustrations from different places on the Earth, thanks to the popular tech website: io9

From the equator the rings would be passing directly overhead. Since you’d be looking in the same plane as the rings, all you would see is a bright line arching from horizon to horizon. Here is what the rings might look like from Quito, Ecuador:

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From Guatamala, the rings begin to fill more of the sky, and the Earth would illuminates the rings for beautiful results.
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Moving to somewhere in Polynesia on the Tropic of Capricorn—at 23° south latitude a 180° panorama gives an idea of what a magnificent sight the rings would be. The dark, oval-shaped break in the middle of the ring is the earth’s shadow. During the course of every night you would be able watch it sweep across the ring like the hand of a God’s own wristwatch. Here it is midnight, with the shadow at its fullest extent. The edge of the shadow is tinged an orangish-pink as sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere.
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From Washington, DC (at 38° latitude), the rings begin to sink below the horizon, though they would still be an awe-inspiring sight as they dominate the sky both day and night.

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Fun Fact:
Scientists say that Earth did once have a ring. It was actually part of the formation of our moon. When a massive planet collided with Earth millions of years ago, a huge amount of debris was blown into space. All of the debris went into orbit around our planet, forming a ring. But it didn’t last long. The ring eventually came together to form our current moon.

26 Comments on What If Our Planet Had a Ring?

  1. qwerty111 // May 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm // Reply

    that’s bogus!

  2. Third-wheel // May 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    Bogus-city:[

  3. Coldplay19 // May 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    That is insane!

  4. pumpkin21 // May 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm // Reply

    Just stating my opinion. that this is not true, earth never had one, If the moon was made because of the ring we would still have a slight ring.

  5. WERID!!!

  6. Wow!

  7. Woah!! That’s sooooo awesome! I wish Earth had rings. But would that change life on earth at all?

  8. I don’t believe it!

  9. Thats awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Mr. Spock // May 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm // Reply

    *raises eyebrow* fascinating.

  11. I wish Earth did have rings!

  12. star wars know-it-all // May 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm // Reply

    that would be, like, awesome!!!

  13. I think its c00l

  14. I also think its cool that Saturn and Uranus have rings, just like earth used to before the moon

  15. thats sweat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I can’t sleep if it is like that. I want it normal.It is easier to sleep in the earth today.But you guys
    are saying boarding things.

  17. Maybe it can make you sick.I got sick today.I don’t know if it can make you sick.Can it?

  18. strange!

  19. strange!?!?

  20. that would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Soon we will have rings of man-launched trash

  22. why, comatose, why??? // May 30, 2014 at 9:53 am // Reply

    They need to launch a rock into space and shatter it, so we can MAKE A RING! :D That would be so cool!

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