'Super Saturn': Exoplanet's Ring System 200 Times Bigger Than Saturn's
Astronomers say they have discovered a giant exoplanet with a ring system that is 200 times larger than that of Saturn.
Corey Powell, editor at large of Discover magazine, explained on "America's Newsroom" that scientists didn't actually see the ring system itself, but starlight shining through.
"They watched the light flickering, as if you were shining a flashlight behind a tree and you figured out the shape of the branches from the flickering of the flashlight," Powell said. "They saw the flickering of the star."
Powell said that the flickering light revealed the planet's massive ring system, which includes 37 rings that are each tens of millions of miles wide.
He said this is a planet orbiting around a star that is very much like our sun, but younger.
"This is like a baby version of our solar system," Powell said. "What you're seeing here is kind of what was going on right here on Earth, right around the other planets four and a half billion years ago."
Powell said that the "giant, baby Saturn" has gaps in the rings where moons are likely forming out of the circling debris.
"This is telling us what kind of planets are out there, how those planets form and - if you're looking for life elsewhere in the universe - maybe you're looking for not just a planet like Earth, maybe you're looking for a giant moon in a giant ring system like this," Powell said.
"We're just starting to realize how weird, how extensive things out there are."
Watch the clip above.