Advertisement

Present knowledge of the Uranus ring system

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Voyager 2 provided the first resolved images of the rings of Uranus and of many small satellites which might gravitationally influence them. It also obtained data from a variety of sensors and over a variety of viewing and illumination conditions which help to determine the reflective properties and composition of the ring particles as well as their particle size distribution. However, continuing Earth-based measurements of stellar ring occultations (i.e., blockage of starlight by the rings as viewed from Earth) have provided the longest time base and most accurate data on ring radii, shapes, inclinations, widths, optical depths (transparency), precession rates (how fast the orbit changes orientation), and dynamic stability, all data that were not obtained by Voyager 2 in the short time period during which it was in the vicinity of Uranus. This chapter will follow up the discussions of Chapter 3 on the discovery of the Uranus rings with a discussion of what we really know about the rings 30 years after their initial discovery.

Keywords

Optical Depth Density Wave Narrow Ring Ring Material Equivalent Depth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

7.6 Notes and References

  1. [1]
    The data in Table 7.1 are taken from tables 11.1 and 11.2 in Miner, E. D., 1997, Uranus: The Planet, Rings and Satellites, Wiley-Praxis Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chichester, England; the data for the newly discovered rings is from Planetary Rings Node at http://pds-rings.seti.org/uranus/uranus_tables.html.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    The data in Table 7.2 are from the same sources as those in Table 7.1 [1].Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    De Pater, I., Gibbard, S. G., Hammel, H. B., 2006, “Evolution of the dusty rings of Uranus”, Icarus 180, 186–200. The nomenclature of the innermost ring of Uranus as the ζ (Zeta) ring was first adopted by these authors in place of the temporary designation as 1986U2R; it is assumed that this name will be approved by the International Astronomical Union.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    De Pater, I., Gibbard, S. G., Hammel, H. B., 2004, “Uranus’s ring 1986U2R detected with Keck AO at 2.2 microns”, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 36, 1110 (abstract only), and associated press release from University of California at Berkeley, 10 November 2004.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Horn, L. J., Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A., Esposito, L. W., Lane, A. L., 1988, “Physical properties of the Uranian δ ring from a possible density wave”, Icarus 76, 485–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Burns, J. A., 1999, “Chapter 16: Planetary Rings”, in The New Solar System (4th Edition), edited by Beatty, Peterson, and Chaikin, pp. 221–240. The relevant figure is figure 14 on p. 230.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Gresh, D. L., Marouf, E. A., Tyler, G. L., Rosen, P. A., Simpson, R. A., 1989, “Voyager radio occultation by Uranus’ rings. I. Observational results”, Icarus 77, 131–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Elliot, J. L., Nicholson, P. D., 1984, “The rings of Uranus”, in Planetary Rings, edited by Greenberg and Brahic, pp. 25–72.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    De Pater, I., Hammel, H. B., Gibbard, S. G., Showalter, M. R., 2006, “New dust belts of Uranus: One ring, two ring, red ring, blue ring”, Science 312, 92–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Cheng, A. F., Haff, P. K., Johnson, R. E., Lanzerotti, L. J., 1986, “Interactions of planetary magnetospheres with icy satellite surfaces”, in Satellites, edited by Burns and Matthews, pp. 403–436.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Esposito, L. W., Brahic, A., Burns, J. A., Marouf, E. A., 1991, “Particle properties and processes in Uranus’ rings”, in Uranus, edited by Bergstralh, Miner, and Matthews, pp. 410–465.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Cuzzi, J. N., Lissauer, J. L., Esposito, L. W., Holberg, J. B., Marouf, E. A., Tyler, G. L., Boischot, A., 1984, “Saturn’s rings: Properties and processes”, in Planetary Rings, edited by Greenberg and Brahic, pp. 73–199.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Porco, C. C., Goldreich, P., 1987, “Shepherding of the Uranian rings. I. Kinematics”, Astronomical Journal 93, 724–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Esposito, L. W., Brahic, A., Burns, J. A., Marouf, E. A., 1990, “Particle properties and processes in Uranus’ rings”, in Uranus, edited by Bergstralh, Miner, and Matthews, pp. 410–465.Google Scholar

7.7 Bibliography

  1. Elliot, J. L., Nicholson, P. D., 1984, “The Rings of Uranus”, in Planetary Rings, edited by Greenberg and Brahic, pp. 25–72.Google Scholar
  2. Esposito, L. W., Brahic, A., Burns, J. A., Marouf, E. A., 1990, “Particle properties and processes in Uranus’ rings”, in Uranus, edited by Bergstralh, Miner, and Matthews, pp. 410–465.Google Scholar
  3. French, R. G., Nicholson, P. D., Porco, C. C., Marouf, E. A., 1990, “Dynamics and structure of the Uranian rings”, in Uranus, edited by Bergstralh, Miner, and Matthews, pp. 327–409.Google Scholar
  4. Miner, E. D., 1997, Uranus: The Planet, Rings and Satellites (2nd Edition), Wiley-Praxis Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 360 pp.Google Scholar

7.8 Pictures and Diagrams

  1. Figure 7.1 http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA00035.jpg and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA00142.jpg Google Scholar
  2. Figure 7.2 Miner fig. 11.6 (courtesy G. L. Tyler). Miner, E. D., 1997, Uranus: The Planet, Rings and Satellites (2nd Edition), Wiley-Praxis Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 360 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd, Chichester, UK 2007

Personalised recommendations