Formation and Stability of the Uranian Rings

  • Alexei M. Fridman
  • Nikolai N. Gorkavyi
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


In its proto-stage Uranus was surrounded by a thin, continuous gas-dust disk with a radius of about a million kilometers. We showed in Sect. 5.1.2 that one may think of the proto-disc around a planet as consisting of two parts: an inner part—the ring zone— and an outer part—the satellite zone. The qualitative difference between these two zones is connected with the different nature of the particle collisions in them. The inner zone is close to the planet and the azimuthal (rotational) velocity of the particles is large and, consequently, the relative velocity of the particles when they collide is large. In that region the processes in which the particles break up in a collision will dominate over those in which they stick together. In such a region satellites cannot be formed—it is a ring zone.


Angular Momentum Close Satellite Ring Zone Planetary Ring Particle Drift 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexei M. Fridman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nikolai N. Gorkavyi
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Astronomy RASMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Sternberg Astronomical InstituteMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Crimean Astrophysical ObservatoryGoddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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