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Saturn's Shiny, Shimmery Rings



Saturn's Shiny, Shimmery Rings

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    breakup, half-mile, orbit, material, gravity, mystery, nighttime, telescope, space, become, percent, system, thousand, part, solar, large
     content words:    Even Rhea, If Earth


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Saturn's Shiny, Shimmery Rings
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Saturn looks like a bright star in the nighttime sky. If you look at Saturn through a telescope, you will see a round ball inside shimmering rings. Other planets have rings, but none have as many rings as Saturn does. No other planet has rings that are as brilliant and beautiful as Saturn's.
 
2     What are Saturn's rings made of? They are about ninety percent frozen water and about ten percent rock and dust. Some of the icy pieces are as small as grains of sand. Many of them are as large as a house. A few may be a half-mile across!
 
3     Astronomers think that the bits that make up Saturn's one thousand or so rings came from the breakup of some of the planet's moons. Comets and meteorites smashed the moons into small bits. Saturn's gravity pulled the bits toward it, and now they orbit the planet in rings. But don't worry; Saturn still has at least 62 moons left! Some of the moons orbit inside the rings, creating gaps of black space that make parts of the rings look dark. Other rings look as though they are braided together.

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