Planetary Rings

RingsThese belong to Jupiter, not Saturn. The ring system of Jupiter was imaged by the Galileo spacecraft in 1996. This image the west ansa (the edge of a ring system) of Jupiter’s main ring has a resolution of 24 km per pixel. Plotting the brightness of ring from the inner-most edge of the image to the outer-most through the thickest part of the ring, shows the “dips” in brightness caused by perturbations from satellites. Two small satellites, Adrastea and Metis, which are not seen in this image, orbit through the outer portion of the ansa much like the small moon that shepherd Saturn’s rings.

Image Credit: NASA

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