Planetary rings

Planetary rings

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The planetary rings They usually form around giant planets.

Since the mid-1970s it has been discovered that what looked like a peculiarity of Saturn, that is, the rings that surround this planet are a common structure to other bodies of the solar system.

In 1974 the Pioneer 11 probe provided the first indications of a Jupiterian ring, successively studied in its details by Voyager 1 and 2. It is a very fine structure, which extends approximately 1 to 2 planetary radii, formed by particles of micrometric size and whose composition is probably siliceous.

In l977, during the observation of Star Hide by Uranus from Earth, a system of 9 rings was discovered around this planet. They extend approximately between 1.6 and 2 planetary radii and appear to consist of rock fragments of dimensions ranging from a few centimeters to a few meters.

In 1980 and 1981, the "Voyager" probes counted thousands of rings around Saturn, where the instruments from Earth only distinguish 4. They range between approximately 1.2 and 2.3 planetary radii, appear to be formed by blocks of ice from Variable dimensions from a few centimeters to a few meters and are directed by a very complex dynamic.

In 1982, elaborating on the computer the data of observations made from New Zealand, a group of American astronomers concluded that Neptune is also surrounded by rings.

The opinion of some planetologists is that the rings represented an obligatory stage in the formation of our solar system; that all the planets and perhaps the largest satellites possessed a system of them; and that those that subsist, constitute a fossil rest. The investigations are extending, therefore, to all the planets and to the Sun itself, in the hope of finding these ancient debris, remains of planetogenesis.

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