ven when viewed through a small telescope, Saturn and its ring system is one of the most unique objects in the sky. When viewed with a modern telescope with little light pollution Saturn appears as a light yellow and gray banded sphere. Like the other Jovian planets (Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune) the visible planet is the cloudy top of an extensive gaseous atmosphere.
aturn's white rings were first seen by Galileo Galilei in 1610. He used a small, imperfect telescope that showed the main planetary body being enveloped by what he interpreted as being two smaller bodies. Christiaan Huygens correctly theorized in 1650 that these alleged "companions" where actually rings. James Clerk Maxwell mathematically demonstrated in 1857 that the rings were composed of many small, unconnected particles, each orbiting near Saturn's equatorial plane.