Jupiter Has Rings

Jupiter Has Rings

What planets in our solar system have rings? Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus, definitely. But Jupiter? Until 1979, astronomers had no idea that wispy rings of dust and rock particles encircled the gas giant. That's because unlike the rings of, say, Saturn, which are made of relatively large pieces of ice that reflect sunlight, Jupiter's rings are made of miniscule particles of rock and dust -- some as small as cigarette-smoke particles -- which makes them dark and nearly impossible to see from Earth. Though future spacecrafts could learn much more about the rings, as of June 2016 there were four: the main ring, which encompasses the orbits of Adrastea and Metis, two small Jovian moons that are probably the source of the ring's dust; the halo ring, which merges gradually into the main ring on one side and extends halfway toward Jupiter's cloud surface on the other; and two "gossamer rings," which are the faintest of the group and named for the moons from whence they came, Amalthea and Thebe. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

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