An illustrator, named Ron Miller, drew strange skies with a ring like Saturn’s, in the same proportion to our planet, figuring out what they would like like from different places on the earth. In fact, the earth did once have a ring— and it could be possible again, according to various scenarios (READ HERE).
Here is what the rings might look like from Quito, Ecuador. Since you’d be looking in the same plane as the rings, all you would see is a bright line arching from horizon to horizon.
If we travel just a little further north to Guatemala, the rings begin to spread across the sky. The earthlight illuminating the dark side of the moon is many times brighter than we are accustomed to, due to the increased sunlight being reflected from the rings.
Moving to somewhere in Polynesia on the Tropic of Capricorn. The dark, oval-shaped break in the middle of the ring is the earth’s shadow. During the course of every night you would be able watch it sweep across the ring like the hand of a God’s own wristwatch. Here it is midnight, with the shadow at its fullest extent. The edge of the shadow is tinged an orangish-pink as sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere.
From Washington, DC (at 38° latitude), the rings begin to sink below the horizon, though they would still be an awe-inspiring sight as they dominate the sky both day and night.
At the Arctic Circle, the rings barely reach above the horizon. Seen here from Nome, Alaska, the brilliant rings illuminate the barren landscape scarcely more than a full moon would. Unlike the sun or moon, however, the rings neither rise nor set…they are always visible, day or night, always in exactly the same place.
All Illustrations by Ron Miller
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