planetary ring

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planetary ring


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Planetary rings, made up of millions of particles, are known to orbit the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They are rarely more than a few hundred yards in thickness but may be many thousands of yards wide. Saturn is thought to have more than 1000 separate rings.
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These planetary rings are the first found outside the solar system.
Since young stars and disks are born in molecular clouds, giant clouds of dust and gas, the role of dust becomes an important feature of understanding planet formation; it relates not only to the formation of rocky, Earth-like planets and the cores of giant Jupiter-like planets but also to that of moons, planetary rings, comets, and asteroids.
This latest analysis helps fill in that story with detection of impactors of a size that we weren't previously able to detect directly," said co-author Jeff Cuzzi, a Cassini interdisciplinary scientist specializing in planetary rings and dust at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
Saturn's rings are unusually bright and clean, leading some to suggest that the rings are actually much younger than Saturn," said Jeff Cuzzi, a co-author of the paper and a Cassini interdisciplinary scientist specializing in planetary rings and dust at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
The color blue made it very unique among planetary rings, which are usually red because the particles are too small to be affected by the plant's forces.
Mechanisms of such clustering may play a role in natural phenomena such as the formation of planetary rings and movement of sea-ice floes.
Many of the processes going on in planetary rings are very similar - though different in detail - to the processes that likely occurred in the formation of the solar system.
Synnott notes that the pictures have yielded "not a hint" of the short, comma-shaped arcs that may be Neptune's odd version of planetary rings.