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        Death Dive to Saturn | Saturn’s Dynamic Rings

        Learn about the structure and behavior of Saturn’s rings in this gallery of videos from NOVA: Death Dive to Saturn and images from NASA. The gravitational pull of moons orbiting Saturn and embedded in its rings results in dynamic ring features and patterns. During its 20-year mission, the Cassini spacecraft has provided an unprecedented look at the ringed system as it orbited the planet. Data about the Saturn system, which is analogous to the accretion disk during early solar system formation, help scientists understand how planets came to be.

        To view the Teaching Tips for this media gallery, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA.

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        Saturn’s Ring Particles

        This video segment from NOVA: Death Dive to Saturn describes the composition and structure of Saturn’s extensive ring plane.

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

        This video segment from NOVA: 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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