One of the most distinctive astronomical features of our solar system is the brilliant ring system of Saturn. Due to their position, scale and material composition, Saturn’s rings have a visibility and tone not present in the ring systems of other planets. I wondered what it would look like if earth had rings and what those rings would mean for us. I found a blog post from an artist who created a series of images showing what our sky would look like if Earth had a set of Saturn-like rings.
The rings have a profound effect on the sky, providing more illumination than a full moon and never changing in position. The ability to observe stars is impacted by the constant light pollution generated by the rings and humans and animals likely have altered evolutionary histories due to night-time illumination. The rings play a heavy role in the various religious pantheons of the world and are a source of great mystery and wonder for ancient people.