Ring Structure

Here you can see a much more detailed picture of the structure of the rings, and the positions of some of the moons in relation to the rings. The two rings that are the brightest, and the ones that would be seen through a telescope if you pointed it at Saturn, are the B and the A rings. In between them is the Cassisni Division, which is the largest gap in the main rings. A smaller gap is located in the A-ring, and has been named the Encke Division. The C-ring can be made out as a darker ring that is just inside the B-ring. Closer than that, and barely visible, is the D ring. It is the closest ring to the planet, and the faintest. The F-ring is visible just outside the A-ring, and farther than this, the G-ring and finally the E-ring are barely visible.

Space probes have shown that the large rings like the A, B and C rings are actually made up of a series of smaller ringlets, giving the rings a highly structured appearence. Voyager also discovered the presence of wave patterns in the rings. Here are some statistics on the locations and rotational periods of the rings:

Name Distance From Saturn (km) Orbital Period (hr)
D-Ring 67,000 4.9
C-Ring 73,200 5.6
B-Ring 92,200 7.9
Cassini Division 119,000 11.7
A-Ring 121,000 11.9
Keeler (Encke) Gap 133,500 13.8
F-Ring 140,600 14.9
G-Ring 170,000 19.9
E-Ring 230,000 31.3