Saturnian Ring Registry

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Saturn's Rings

The beautiful rings of Saturn were discovered by Galileo in 1610, who at the time unknowingly described Saturn as having 'ears', and from there they have puzzled astronomers ever since.  Voyagers 1 and 2 imaged the amazing ring system extensively in 1980 and 1981,  with the rings being given letter names D,C,B,A,F  working from D being closest to the planet, outwards to the F Ring.  Beyond that are two far fainter rings named G and E. The Cassini Division is the largest gap in the rings and separates Rings B and A.  The Saturnian Ring Registry provides the opportunity to name individual rings within these larger ring systems.
Saturn's rings are composed primarily of water ice and range from just microns to meters in size. Although reflection from the rings increases Saturn's brightness in the night sky, please note that they are not visible from Earth with the naked eye. Saturn's rings may be very old, dating to the formation of Saturn itself.
There are two main theories regarding the origin of Saturn's inner rings. One theory, proposed by Edouard Rouche in the 19th century, is that the rings were once a moon of Saturn whose orbit decayed until it came close enough to be ripped apart by tidal forces. A variation of this theory is that the moon disintegrated after being struck by a large comet or asteroid. The second theory is that the rings were never part of a moon, but are instead left over from the original nebular material from which Saturn formed.

Saturn's Moons

To date, 62 moons of Saturn have been discovered and of these, 53 have been officially named. The moons orbiting Saturn wildly differ, and comprise many shapes, sizes, and age. Some of these worlds have hard, rough surfaces, while others are porous bodies coated in a fine blanket of icy particles. All have  craters, varying topography, some showing evidence of tectonic activity. Many appear to have formed billions of years ago, while others could originally have been part of larger bodies that broke up. Studying Saturn's moons tells us a great deal about the history of the Saturnian System and also of the solar system. New moons are still being discovered.

Christiaan Huygens discovered the first known moon of Saturn. The year was 1655 and the moon was Titan. Saturn's largest moon, it is one of the most Earth-like worlds found to date. It has a thick atmosphere resembles a frozen version of Earth, several billion years ago.

Titan has a substantial, active atmosphere and complex, Earth-like processes that shape its surface. The moon is enveloped by an orange haze of naturally produced photochemical smog.

Titan's surface is shaped by rivers and lakes of liquid ethane and methane, which forms clouds and occasionally rains from the sky. Winds sculpt vast regions of dark, hydrocarbon-rich dunes that girdle the moon's equator and low latitudes. Volcanism might also occur, but with water instead of lava.

Saturn in Astrology

Saturn was the God Kronos, father of Zeus, who was known for devouring his offspring soon after being born. He did this because he feared that they would surpass him. But Zeus, who was protected by his mother, returned to face his father, and Kronos’ fears were realised through death.

Saturn governs ambition, career, authority and hierarchy, and conforming social structures. It concerns a person's sense of duty, discipline and responsibility, and their physical and emotional endurance during hardships. Saturn is also considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning. The Return of Saturn is said to mark significant events in each person's life.  In Chinese astrology, Saturn is ruled by the element earth, which is warm, generous, and co-operative.
Saturn brings structure and meaning to our world. Saturn knows the limits of time and matter. Saturn reminds us of our boundaries, our responsibilities, and our commitments. It brings definition to our lives. Saturn makes us aware of the need for self-control and of boundaries and our limits.

Saturn is often associated with father/authority figures. In childhood, the discipline, rules, and regulations imposed on uswere not always pleasant, but  actually helped us to understand the world around us. Similarly, Saturn's lessons actually help us to grow.

In the chart, the position of Saturn by sign and house reveals our own limitations, fears, and sense of responsibility. Saturn brings definition, and often limitation, to the planets it aspects.