Exoplanet J1407b discovered with more rings than Saturn

There's a planet out there in the universe that has rings of matter surrounding it so large, they eclipse its nearby sun. This is J1407b, near the star J1407. The image you see here comes from Ron Miller of the University of Rochester, and it shows the planet and its rings as they would have appeared in early 2007. The planet was discovered back in 2012, but just now its become clear how extraordinary this planetary body truly is. Rings so massive they make our nearby planet Saturn look miniature by comparison.

A team of Dutch and American astronomers have announced this week that this planet's rings may be 200 times the size of Saturn's. More than 30 rings of debris were discovered around this planet by the SuperWASP observatory.

Below: Earth and Saturn. What a puny amount of rings! Saturn, how ashamed you must feel!

The rings around exoplanet J1407b were discovered as the observatory watched the star dim over the course of 56 days. This eclipse, and the subsequent data that showed the spectrographic changes of light, made clear the phenomenon surrounding the star's nearby planet.

As rapid changes in light occurred during this eclipse, the observatory came to understand the nature of the rings and the gaps between the rings, letting light through and blocking light intermittently.

Each ring is tens of millions of miles in diameter. Moons likely surround the planet as well, as gaps between rings also indicate.

Above and below you're seeing the models of the rings as depicted in pixel and vector format.

The image and the original release come from The University of Rochester. Below you'll see a scientific model for this planet, the eclipse, and rings as they were revealed through this process.