Which of Saturn’s Planetary Rings Are Visible From Earth and Can We Always See Saturn’s Rings From Earth?

Saturn’s planetary rings D, E, and G are not visible from Earth at all.

We only discovered E and G by sending up spacecraft.

The system as a whole circles the planet Saturn at its equator.

Saturn’s axis, around which the planet rotates, is tilted 26.7° in relation to its equator, so that sometimes the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun (and Earth), and sometimes the northern hemisphere faces the Sun (and Earth).

Sometimes we can see the rings clearly, but at other times, they appear “edge on” and are invisible.

Remember that the rings are only a few miles thick.

On an average of every 14 years and 9 months, the edges of Saturn’s rings face us.

The next edge-on view of Saturn’s rings is in 2010.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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