There’s a celestial body 400 light years away that looks a lot like Saturn, except its rings are so large that they shouldn’t be able to exist. Its official title is J1407b, but it’s been informally dubbed Saturn on steroids. Whoa, whoa, slow down. We’re not actually sure that J1407b is a planet. It could be a brown dwarf, which is technically a star but really sits somewhere between failed star and enormous gas giant. Either way, it’s the ring system that has scientists talking. It’s 75 million miles in diameter, which is about 200 times larger than the rings of Saturn. If J1407b was in our own solar system, it would appear in our sky many times larger than our own moon. The problem is that as J1407b travels in its elliptical orbit, it gets dangerously close to its host star—so close that its rings should break apart due to the forces of gravity. But they don’t. Astronomers are not sure why.
If you thought Saturn is the most majestic ringed planet, think again. J1407b is the planet with largest ring cover, discovered so far. Thank again,
It has a vast and massive expanse of about 30 rings, with a diameter of tens of millions of kilometres.
This object is about 434 lys away, and is the first ringed exo planet discovered through the transit method. The team also said, that the spaces between the rings contain exo moons, accreted by the material orbiting this planet.
The stellar system is however only 16 million years old, and the high mass of the ring system (almost an Earth mass) are thought to be more, of a circumplanetary or protoexosatellite disk still in the process of forming moons/satellites, rather than a proper stable ring system in an evolved planetary system, unlike Saturn's rings. Which means, after a few years, these rings may disappear and we may see moons around this planet.
If put in our sky, the rings would be distinctly visible, even at Saturn's distance from us.
(Picture/illustration Credits: EarthSkyScience)