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Supersized Ring

A team of astronomers recently found the largest planetary ring in the solar system swirling around Saturn. Believed to be made of ice and dust debris from one of Saturn’s moons, the ring measures about 200 times the radius of Saturn. “If we could see it with our eyes from Earth, it would appear twice the size of our moon,” says Anne Verbiscer, one of two UVA astronomers on the team.

The ring, discovered using infrared cameras aboard NASA’s orbiting Spitzer telescope, is so large that its volume is equivalent to one billion Earths.