(Submitted November 11, 1997)
What is the average thickness of the rings of Saturn?
>The thickness of the rings ranges from 10 to 100 meters and the rings vary
> Though they look continuous from the Earth, the rings are actually
>composed of innumerable small particles each in an independent orbit.
>They range in size from a centimeter or so to several meters. A few
>kilometer-sized objects are also likely.
> Saturn's rings are extraordinarily thin: though they're 250,000 km or
>more in diameter they're no more than 1.5 kilometers thick. Despite
>their impressive appearance, there's really very little material in the
>rings -- if the rings were compressed into a single body it would be no
>more than 100 km across.
The 300 km number is probably from before space probes such as Voyager
visited the planet.
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