How Enormous Cosmic Dust Rings Form Over 100,000 Years

When it comes to planetary accessories, we’ve got our moon, but lovely as it is, it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the flashier bits of flair out there. I’m talking about rings. Here’s where they come from.

When you’re thinking about rings, your mind probably jumps right to Saturn, but sometimes the mesmerizing discs of debris can form without a planet to cling to. NASA put together a nice timelapse simulation of how that happens. Needless to say, it takes forever.

The simulated disc we see here is huge, 100 times the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. If real it were real, it would contain everything from dust and ice crystals on up to full-scale comets and asteroids. That’s some cosmic jewelry you don’t want to mess with, and its probably best for our space program this blue marble doesn’t have any. But still, you can’t help but be a little envious.