How crowded are Saturn's rings? Could you send a probe through them blinded and not hit anything?
How crowded are Saturn's rings? Photos and videos/animations show them to be quite crowded. But this is the same with the videos of traveling through stars, like the old screensavers on early Windows computers from early 90's, the stars in reality are very far apart.
Is this true with Saturn's rings?
Could you send a probe through the rings and not worry about the likely hood of hitting something? Or does this take a lot of navigation effort to do so? Or is it not even possible?
- tham153Lv 74 weeks ago
The rings are not solid, as they are broken into, at latest count, over 30,000 ringlets or strands. There are breaks, the widest is Cassini's Division at 3000 miles/5000 kilometers. But to go through one of the ringlets would be very foolish, even if the typical particle is under a millimeter across.
- ANDYLv 54 weeks ago
It would be a great risk to send a probe through its rings (as our friend Jim said here).
But the best way to go through is between the rings and the planet itself where a great void is there. In fact, Cassini went through this to be then demolished in the planet in 2017.
- JimLv 74 weeks ago
Yes, it's possible, but it really depends on where in the rings you pass. Some areas are dense, other areas almost completely void of anything.
you can deduce a mean density of about 0.0167 g/m3 (about 10^5 times less dense than the terrestrial atmosphere at sea level).