30 November 2009

Rings around the Earth – Implications

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Last week I posted a video that speculates what it would look like if the Earth had rings like Saturn. Well, over at Quantum Rocketry, Joe Shoer has two excellent follow-up posts. First he calculated what the rings would really look like with gaps caused by Earth’s moons rather than just copying and pasting Saturn’s rings. Here’s a simulated image, but you should check out the full post for more info.

A simulated view of rings around the earth, with gaps based on the position of the Moon. Credit: Joe Shoer

And then, even more thought-provoking, he went on to consider the implications that rings would have to civilization and early astronomy. His post is well worth a read. Here’s a teaser:

I’ll say that again: If the Earth had rings, the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Egyptians might have had a sense of the scale of the Cosmos. The Romans and Indians might have known what a parsec is.