In my current fantasy story, I have an earth-like planet with one large difference: it has a planetary ring. I would like this ring to be large and visible. I've been using Saturn's rings as a template, and have decided that the rings should be roughly the same composition and ratio in size as Saturn's rings are. So basically scale Saturn-and-rings down to Earth's size, and those are the rings I want, in terms of size and composition.
In addition to having a planetary ring or rings, a very important part of the story is how they formed. Back in the distant past, something was going to collide with the planet. A comet, a moon - something big enough to be a serious problem for all life. I'm excluding asteroids because Saturn's rings are primarily icy, and asteroids aren't.
There were extremely powerful mages on this planet, and they all banded together to stop the collision. Exactly how they did it isn't too important. They might have literally torn it apart before it could reach them, or just slowed it down enough so that it disintegrated inside the Roche Limit before it could reach the surface. Assume they are powerful enough to do whatever you need them to do to stop the collision and form the ring.
The point is that a large body came within the Roche Limit of the planet (because as I understand it that's where rings form), was stopped somehow, and pulled apart until it became a ring.
Question: What would be the effects on the planetary inhabitants of such an event?
I'm trying to avoid a scenario where possible side effects include massive earthquakes, volcanic activity, worldwide floods, meteors, or the eradication of all life on the planet. I'm fine with a few temporary effects, but the less deadly they are the better. Ideally, the inhabitants of the planet would be able to watch the formation of the new ring from the comfort of their own home, with nothing else being different. Is such a scenario possible?
- Assume the planet is identical to Earth.
- Assume the planet already has a moon identical to the one we have now.