Saturn is one of those planets that just wows you from the beginning. This is a fun mini maker activity you can do while talking about Saturn and Saturn’s rings!
All you need for this fun science project at home is a CD, 1.5 inch styrofoam ball and lots of decorations. If you are homeschooling and studying the solar system this is a nice compliment to bring art into the mix!
Wondering what to talk about as you make your CD Saturn?
Below are some questions you might be asked, and interesting facts you can bring up as you create and decorate your CD Saturns!
What do you think Saturn’s rings are made of? Much of Saturn’s rings are made up of small chunks of ice and rock with some dust added in. You can have kids find rocks to glue on instead of gems, or even pull out a bowl of rock, dirt and ice chips mixed together so they can feel Saturn’s rings.
How big are the rings? Saturn’s rings are so wide that if we were to put Saturn between the Earth and the Moon it would span the entire way! In this model we get out to the start of the last ring, the E ring. The E ring is very wide, starting at the edge of the CD and ending one foot from the center of your ball. This ring is made up of very tiny particles, so small you would not see them with the naked eye if you were visiting. The tiny ice particles are actually from the erupting ice volcanoes on the moon Enceladus.
How did Saturn get it’s rings? Scientists believe the rings are from objects in orbit that get a little too close for comfort. Saturn’s huge gravity begins to rip these orbiting objects apart as they get closer and closer, turning them into small orbiting chunks, which over time turn into the rings.
How thick are Saturn’s rings? Saturn’s rings are incredibly thin. For spanning over 250,000 miles, the rings themselves are no thicker than 30 feet. To give you an idea of what that really means, imagine a sheet of paper two miles wide. This is what Saturn’s rings would look like!