Rings of Saturn

Cassini DivisionA RingringsF ringSaturn's ringsKeeler gapPhoebe ringEncke GapB RingC Ring
The rings of Saturn are the most extensive ring system of any planet in the Solar System.wikipedia
291 Related Articles

Christiaan Huygens

HuygensChristian HuygensChristiaan Huyghens
In 1655, Christiaan Huygens was the first person to describe them as a disk surrounding Saturn.
In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan.

Saturn

Atmosphere of SaturnOrbit of SaturnPhainon
They consist of countless small particles, ranging in size from micrometers to meters, that orbit about Saturn.
In January 2019, astronomers reported that a day on the planet Saturn has been determined to be 10:33:38, based on studies of the planet's C Ring.

Moons of Saturn

moon of Saturnmoonmoons
The rings have numerous gaps where particle density drops sharply: two opened by known moons embedded within them, and many others at locations of known destabilizing orbital resonances with the moons of Saturn.
Saturn has 82 moons with confirmed orbits that are not embedded in its rings – of which only 13 have diameters greater than 50 kilometers – as well as dense rings that contain millions of embedded moonlets and innumerable smaller ring particles.

Solar System

outer Solar Systeminner Solar Systemouter planets
The rings of Saturn are the most extensive ring system of any planet in the Solar System.
Christiaan Huygens followed on from Galileo's discoveries by discovering Saturn's moon Titan and the shape of the rings of Saturn.

Orbital resonance

1:1 resonanceresonancemean-motion resonance
The rings have numerous gaps where particle density drops sharply: two opened by known moons embedded within them, and many others at locations of known destabilizing orbital resonances with the moons of Saturn.
Unstable resonances with Saturn's inner moons give rise to gaps in the rings of Saturn.

Ring system

planetary ringringsring
The rings of Saturn are the most extensive ring system of any planet in the Solar System. Some gaps are cleared out by the passage of tiny moonlets such as Pan, many more of which may yet be discovered, and some ringlets seem to be maintained by the gravitational effects of small shepherd satellites (similar to Prometheus and Pandora's maintenance of the F ring).
The most prominent and most famous planetary rings in the Solar System are those around Saturn, but the other three giant planets (Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune) also have ring systems.

Anagram

anagrammaticanagram solveranagrammatically
Early astronomers used anagrams as a form of commitment scheme to lay claim to new discoveries before their results were ready for publication.
Galileo used for Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi (Latin: I have observed the most distant planet to have a triple form) for discovering the rings of Saturn in 1610.

Daphnis (moon)

Daphnis
This displacement reaches as much as 4 km at the border of the Keeler Gap, due to the out-of-plane orbit of Daphnis, the moon that creates the gap.
Daphnis is about 8 kilometres in diameter, and orbits the planet in the Keeler Gap within the A ring.

Pan (moon)

PanSaturn XVIII
Some gaps are cleared out by the passage of tiny moonlets such as Pan, many more of which may yet be discovered, and some ringlets seem to be maintained by the gravitational effects of small shepherd satellites (similar to Prometheus and Pandora's maintenance of the F ring).
It is a small, walnut-shaped moon approximately 35 kilometres across and 23 km wide that orbits within the Encke Gap in Saturn's A Ring.

Roche limit

ripped apartits destructionorbit too close
One theory, originally proposed by Édouard Roche in the 19th century, is that the rings were once a moon of Saturn (named Veritas, after a Roman goddess who hid in a well) whose orbit decayed until it came close enough to be ripped apart by tidal forces (see Roche limit).
(Notable exceptions are Saturn's E-Ring and Phoebe ring.

Sofya Kovalevskaya

Sofia KovalevskayaSofia KovalevskaiaSonia Kovalevsky
Later, Sofia Kovalevskaya also found that Saturn's rings cannot be liquid ring-shaped bodies.
In 1874 she presented three papers—on partial differential equations, on the dynamics of Saturn's rings, and on elliptic integrals—to the University of Göttingen as her doctoral dissertation.

James Clerk Maxwell

MaxwellJ. C. MaxwellJames Maxwell
In 1859, James Clerk Maxwell demonstrated that a nonuniform solid ring, solid ringlets or a continuous fluid ring would also not be stable, indicating that the ring must be composed of numerous small particles, all independently orbiting Saturn.
He focused his attention on a problem that had eluded scientists for 200 years: the nature of Saturn's rings.

Phoebe (moon)

PhoebeA moonSaturn IX (Phoebe)
Well beyond the main rings is the Phoebe ring, which is presumed to originate from Phoebe and thus to share its retrograde orbital motion.
The Phoebe ring is one of the rings of Saturn.

Planet

planetsFormer classification of planetsplanemo
The rings of Saturn are the most extensive ring system of any planet in the Solar System.
The rings are composed primarily of dust or particulate matter, but can host tiny 'moonlets' whose gravity shapes and maintains their structure.

Pandora (moon)

Pandorainner satellite of Saturn
Some gaps are cleared out by the passage of tiny moonlets such as Pan, many more of which may yet be discovered, and some ringlets seem to be maintained by the gravitational effects of small shepherd satellites (similar to Prometheus and Pandora's maintenance of the F ring).
Pandora was thought to be an outer shepherd satellite of the F Ring.

Rings of Jupiter

ring systemJupiterJupiter's Main Ring
A similar spiral pattern in Jupiter's main ring has been attributed to a perturbation caused by impact of material from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994.
It was the third ring system to be discovered in the Solar System, after those of Saturn and Uranus.

Rings of Uranus

ringsε ringring system
In many respects this ringlet is similar to the ε ring of Uranus.
The rings of Uranus are a system of rings around the planet Uranus, intermediate in complexity between the more extensive set around Saturn and the simpler systems around Jupiter and Neptune.

Robert Hooke

HookeDr Robert HookeHooke, Robert
Robert Hooke was another early observer of the rings of Saturn, and noted the casting of shadows on the rings.
Hooke also was an early observer of the rings of Saturn, and discovered one of the first observed double-star systems, Gamma Arietis, in 1664.

Mimas (moon)

MimasPangea Chasma
Cassini directly measured the mass of the ring system via their gravitational effect during its final set of orbits that passed between the rings and the cloud tops, yielding a value of 1.54 (± 0.49) × 10 19 kg, or 0.41 ± 0.13 Mimas masses.
Mimas is responsible for clearing the material from the Cassini Division, the gap between Saturn's two widest rings, the A Ring and B Ring.

Voyager 1

Voyager IVoyagerMariner 11
Voyager 1s closest approach occurred in November 1980 at a distance of 64,200 km.
The space probe's cameras detected complex structures in the rings of Saturn, and its remote sensing instruments studied the atmospheres of Saturn and its giant moon Titan.

Edward Emerson Barnard

E. E. BarnardBarnardEdward Barnard
Although he did not realize it at the time, he had discovered proof of the "spokes" of Saturn, dark shadows running perpendicular to the circular paths of the rings.

Prometheus (moon)

Prometheus
Some gaps are cleared out by the passage of tiny moonlets such as Pan, many more of which may yet be discovered, and some ringlets seem to be maintained by the gravitational effects of small shepherd satellites (similar to Prometheus and Pandora's maintenance of the F ring).
Prometheus is a shepherd satellite for the inner edge of Saturn's narrow F Ring.

James Edward Keeler

James KeelerJ. E. KeelerJames E. Keeler
Spectroscopic studies of the rings carried out in 1895 by James Keeler of Allegheny Observatory and Aristarkh Belopolsky of Pulkovo Observatory showed Maxwell's analysis was correct.
Keeler was the first to observe the gap in Saturn's rings now known as the Encke Gap, using the 36-inch refractor at Lick Observatory on 7 January 1888.

S/2009 S 1

The moonlet was given the provisional designation S/2009 S 1.
S/2009 S 1 is a "propeller moonlet" of Saturn orbiting at a distance of approximately, in the outer part of the B Ring, and with an approximate diameter of.

Cassini–Huygens

CassiniCassini-HuygensCassini spacecraft
Although theoretical models indicated that the rings were likely to have formed early in the Solar System's history, new data from Cassini suggest they formed relatively late.
The Cassini–Huygens space-research mission, commonly called Cassini, involved a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.