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        Death Dive to Saturn | Saturn’s Dynamic Rings

        Learn about the structure and behavior of Saturn’s rings in videos from NOVA: Death Dive to Saturn and images from NASA. Scientists can learn how planets may have formed through the study of Saturn’s rings, which are analogous to the accretion disk during the early solar system. Use this resource to visualize the scale of Saturn’s rings and to provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of gravity.

        Support materials include: Background Reading, Teaching Tips, and Discussion Questions. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA.

        Visit the program page.

        Saturn’s Ring Particles

        This video segment from NOVA’s Death Dive to Saturn uses an artist's conception to describe the composition and structure of Saturn’s massive and extensive ring plane.

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        Saturn’s Ring Moons, Moonlets, and “Propellers"

        This video segment from NOVA’s Death Dive to Saturn shows the fluid nature of Saturn’s rings, with their patterns and features influenced by the planet’s collection of tiny moons.

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        Vertical Ring Structures

        This image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows tall peaks rising vertically from the edge of Saturn’s B ring, forced upward by the gravitational influence of nearby moons.

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        Propeller Feature

        This image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows a two-bladed “propeller” feature in Saturn’s A ring. Propellers are disturbances caused by moonlets in the rings.

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