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Questions tagged [planetary-ring]

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

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22 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why Earth does not have rings?

Why does the Earth not have rings like Saturn or Uranus?
Chloritone_360's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
792 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 ...
Nico's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do/Can Ringed Stars Exist?

The other night, while playing Elite: Dangerous, I came across a rather strange celestial body - one I never imagined possible. It was a Brown Dwarf star with a very large ring. Is something like ...
Iszi's user avatar
  • 203
7 votes
2 answers
7k views

Could a cross-ringed planet exist?

My title doesn't do my question justice in explaining, but the kind of satellite system I'm thinking of is two rings on two separate axis, much like (if you've seen it) the film 'Treasure Planet' ...
XenoDwarf's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
0 answers
170 views

Are there any planetary ring system other than "Phoebe ring" not aligned to the equatorial plane?

Continuation of: Is it possible for planetary rings to be perpendicular (or near perpendicular) to the planet's orbit around the host star? The answers discussed about Uranian ring system and how ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,696
3 votes
2 answers
362 views

Difference between "planetary ring" and "circumstellar disk"?

Related: Do/Can Ringed Stars Exist? Is there any particular difference, in behavior or properties, between a planetary ring system and a circumstellar disk? Or is the only real difference a matter of ...
Iszi's user avatar
  • 203
21 votes
3 answers
2k 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?
Eduardo Serra's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
440 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 ...
Travis Christian's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it possible for planetary rings to be perpendicular (or near perpendicular) to the planet's orbit around the host star?

Is it possible for planetary rings to be perpendicular (or near perpendicular) to the planet's orbit around the host star?
Curious Cat's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
4k 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?
Gstestso's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Size of Saturn's ring material

How big are the chunks of rock ice that make up Saturn's rings? Are there many objects larger than pebble size?
joseph.hainline's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
237 views

What are those blobs in each of the two bright rings of Neptune shown in the new JWST image?

What is this bright blue object taken by the Webb telescope? includes the new JWST infrared image of Neptune and Triton. The disk of Neptune shows interesting features but I'm drawn to Neptunes's ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
719 views

Is there, in fact, any close-up photography of Saturn's rings, showing individual pebbles/rocks?

After reading this excellent but difficult answer, https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/a/18407/13071 I've been thinking how difficult it is to get a sense of the distance between and the size of ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 946