How Saturn’s rings were made
Idea 1: Shattered moonlets
One theory is that the rings formed when comet impacts broke up one or more small moonlets orbiting inside Saturn’s Roche limit.
Idea 2: Lunar break-up
Alternatively, a larger moon may have been pushed inside the Roche limit where tidal forces eventually tore it apart.
Over a long period, collisions and tidal forces spread the debris evenly around the planet and began to draw smaller particles closer to the planet.
Gaps in the rings developed where orbiting particles would experience regular tidal pulls from more distant orbiting moons.
Studies of ring rain particles suggest that the relatively pure ice has been enriched with more complex chemicals, perhaps from comet ices.