Questions about rings of debris that encircle the equatorial regions of some planets.

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18
votes
2answers
761 views

How dense are Saturn's rings?

I assume that the A ring is the densest, but I might be wrong. Nevertheless, I failed to find any explicit information over the net about the minimum and maximum of densities for the different rings. ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do some planets have rings?

Some planets, specifically Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in our solar system, have planetary rings. Why do some planets have rings? How are they made and from what? Most importantly, will I ...
14
votes
3answers
502 views

Will Saturn's rings become a moon?

Planets form from disks of matter orbiting around a star; some moons form from disks of matter orbiting planets. If this were going to happen around Saturn, approximately how much time would it take?
11
votes
1answer
327 views

How long do planetary rings last?

I'm surprised that this question hasn't been asked before (here or on Physics), to the best of my knowledge. It's one that I might have asked when I was a bit younger, and one that I think other ...
9
votes
1answer
107 views

Do planetary rings have geometric bounds?

Are there any bounds on where a planetary ring can form and maintain orbit relative to the planet? Do they have to be in a circular equatorial orbit? Is there a min or max altitude, say with respect ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

How are the newly discovered Janus/Epimetheus rings different from the other rings of Saturn?

What are the newly discovered ring systems of Saturn, and the circumstances relating to the discovery? Is there something that makes them different from the old well-known rings, like their formation? ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

What's special about Saturn that it has distinctive rings?

This may overlap with other questions, but I'm asking what is unique about Saturn in location, properties, etc that is has far more pronounced rings? It's between Jupiter and Uranus and Neptune in ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Can a star have a ring system?

I often hear about planetary ring systems, and even some moons might have them, but how about stars? Can a star also have rings?
5
votes
2answers
165 views

How unusual is the solar system?

In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, the main characters are looking for the long-lost Earth. There are two major features of the solar system that seem to make it unusual among the millions of ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Wouldn't the rings of Saturn experience tidal effect?

The "Lord of the Rings" has more than 60 moons, some of which are larger than Mercury. My question is, wouldn't the ring, which is mostly comprised of rocks, experience tidal effect whenever a moon is ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

How thick can planetary rings be?

This arose from a comment on Worldbuilding. We have data from four planets in the Solar System with rings, which doesn't make for a very good sample size. Observations of exoplanets could change ...
4
votes
1answer
225 views

Why Earth does not have rings?

Why does the Earth not have rings like Saturn or Uranus?
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Why does Saturn have both moons and rings?

From my understanding, a ring can form around a planet when a moon gets too close to its Roche limit, and gets ripped appart by the planet's gravity pull. That makes sense to me, but I don't ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

Rings around a smaller, close-in planet?

Is it possible for a small, close-to-star planet to have a stable ring system--icy or otherwise? A smaller planet means the rings would have to be closer to the planet, which means the radial shear ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Do magnetic fields affect planetary rings?

Planetary rings seem to generally form on the ecliptic plane because of the rotation of the planet, but I was wondering what kind of effect the magnetic field of the planet might have on the ring ...
2
votes
1answer
317 views

Why do the rings around the Gas Giants get their 'ring' shape?

In our Solar System, all the gas giants have ring systems. However, why do these rings form rings and not a cloud of debris around the planet?
2
votes
0answers
15 views

Do the planetary ring lasts? [duplicate]

Almost all gas giants in our solar system are observed to have a planetary ring comprises of ice, dust and rocks. My question is do these rings obediently sticks around their foster parent until our ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

What is the connection between moons, rings, and gaps?

I was watching this video and they said that the rock probably has a moon. Is the reason they assume it has a moon is because there is a gap between the rings created by the moon's orbit around the ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Recent origin of Saturn's rings

Saturn was formed around billion years ago along with Jupiter. After which it had enough time to form moon which can break into rings. Then why is it said that Saturn's ring are of recent origin - ...