The rings of Saturn are made up of tiny particles/rocks/ice that all orbit Saturn. Each individual particle is bound to its orbit because of Saturn's gravity, but each particle also pulls on all of its neighbor particles as well. Shouldn't Saturn's rings have collapsed into moons or satellites by now? What is keeping the rings rings and not letting them turn into moons/satellites?


closed as off-topic by DarkDust, Nathan Tuggy, Saiboogu, uhoh, Jan Doggen Mar 9 '18 at 20:07

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is about other space sciences (physics, weather, astronomy, etc), and does not directly pertain to space exploration as outlined in the help center." – DarkDust, Nathan Tuggy, Saiboogu, uhoh, Jan Doggen
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this question would be a better fit for the astronomy SE site. $\endgroup$ – Paul Mar 9 '18 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ Although the line is not always clear, in this case for sure this is a great question for Astronomy SE (if it hasn't been answered there already) and probably off-topic here. I don't see any Space Exploration aspects. I'd recommend you just delete here and then join Astronomy SE and post it there. It's a great site and you are obviously interested in astronomy. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 9 '18 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ Asked (and answered) a long time ago at physics SE: Why Aren't Saturn's Rings Clumping into Moons? $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Mar 9 '18 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ This also falls under Space Exploration. If this question space.stackexchange.com/questions/2259/… is legitimate on this site, then so is mine. $\endgroup$ – Rickest Rick Mar 9 '18 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ @rickestrick: the other question should have been marked as off topic as well, but for some reason it wasn’t and at this point in time (after the op accepts an answer) it can’t be changed. $\endgroup$ – Paul Mar 9 '18 at 21:20

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