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Planetary Ring Systems


  • Page extent: 592 pages
  • Size: 276 x 219 mm
  • Weight: 1.88 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9781107113824)

Planetary rings are among the most intriguing structures of our solar system and have fascinated generations of astronomers. Collating emerging knowledge in the field, this volume reviews our current understanding of ring systems with reference to the rings of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and more. Written by leading experts, the history of ring research and the basics of ring–particle orbits is followed by a review of the known planetary ring systems. All aspects of ring system science are described in detail, including specific dynamical processes, types of structures, thermal properties and their origins, and investigations using computer simulations and laboratory experiments. The concluding chapters discuss the prospects of future missions to planetary rings, the ways in which ring science informs and is informed by the study of other astrophysical disks, and a perspective on the field's future. Researchers of all levels will benefit from this thorough and engaging presentation.

• The first new comprehensive reference on planetary ring systems since the 1980s • The volume is written by leading experts keen to engage readers with lively accounts of their research • Covers the key concepts across planetary ring science with no assumptions of prior knowledge, providing an ideal resource for newcomers to the field


1. Space age studies of planetary rings L. W. Esposito and M. de Stefano; 2. An introduction to planetary ring dynamics M. M Hedman; 3. The rings of Saturn J. N. Cuzzi, G. Filacchione and E. A. Marouf; 4. The rings of Uranus P. D. Nicholson, I. De Pater, R. G. French and M. R. Showalter; 5. The rings of Neptune I. De Pater, S. Renner, M. R. Showalter and B. Sicardy; 6. The rings of Jupiter I. De Pater, D. P. Hamilton, M. R. Showalter, H. B. Throop and J. A. Burns; 7. Rings beyond the giant planets B. Sicardy, M. El Moutamid, A. C. Quillen, P. M. Schenk, M. R. Showalter and K. Walsh; 8. Moonlets in dense planetary rings F. Spahn, H. Hoffmann, H. Rein, M. Seiss, M. Sremcevic and M. S. Tiscareno; 9. Meteoroid bombardment and ballistic transport in planetary rings P. R. Estrada, R. H. Durisen and H. N. Latter; 10. Theory of narrow rings and sharp edges P.-Y. Longaretti; 11. Narrow rings, gaps, and sharp edges P. D. Nicholson, R. G. French and J. N. Spitale; 12. Dusty rings M. M. Hedman, F. Postberg, D. P. Hamilton, S. Renner and H.-W. Hsu; 13. The F ring of Saturn C. D. Murray and R. S. French; 14. Plasma, neutral atmosphere, and energetic radiation environments of planetary rings J. F. Cooper, R. E. Johnson, P. Kollmann, E. Roussos and E. C. Sittler; 15. Thermal properties of rings and ring particles L. J. Spilker, C. Ferrari, N. Altobelli, S. Pilorz and R. Morishima; 16. Computer simulations of planetary rings H. Salo, K. Ohtsuki and M. C. Lewis; 17. Laboratory studies of planetary ring systems J. E. Colwell, J. Blum, R. N. Clark, S. Kempf and R. M. Nelson; 18. The origin of planetary ring systems S. Charnoz, R. M. Canup, A. Crida and L. Dones; 19. Future missions to planetary rings T. R. Spilker; 20. Planetary rings and other astrophysical disks H. N. Latter, G. I. Ogilvie and H. Rein; 21. The future of planetary rings studies M. S. Tiscareno and C. D. Murray.


'… the book under review is a worthy and fitting update. It is a collection of 21 reviewed articles, written by the experts in the field. All are superbly illustrated and referenced. … This book is a tour de force which emphasizes the fact that not only are planetary rings one of the most beautiful phenomena in our subject they are also one of the most physically and dynamically challenging. … As with many planetary objects, we now know a lot but there is still a huge amount to find out. This book is a great encouragement to those starting out on the investigation.' David W. Hughes, The Observatory: A Review of Astronomy


L. W. Esposito, M. de Stefano, M.M Hedman, J. N. Cuzzi, G. Filacchione, E. A. Marouf; P. D. Nicholson, I. De Pater, R. G. French, M. R. Showalter; S. Renner, B. Sicardy, D. P. Hamilton, H. B. Throop, J. A. Burns, M. El Moutamid, A. C. Quillen, P. M. Schenk, K. Walsh, F. Spahn, H. Hoffmann, H. Rein, M. Seiss, M. Sremcevic, M. S. Tiscareno, P. R. Estrada, R. H. Durisen, H. N. Latter, P.-Y. Longaretti, R. G. French, J. N. Spitale, F. Postberg, H.-W. Hsu, C. D. Murray, R. S. French, J. F. Cooper, R. E. Johnson, P. Kollmann, E. Roussos, E. C. Sittler, L. J. Spilker, C. Ferrari, N. Altobelli, S. Pilorz, R. Morishima, H. Salo, K. Ohtsuki, M. C. Lewis, J. E. Colwell, J. Blum, R. N. Clark, S. Kempf, R. M. Nelson, S. Charnoz, R. M. Canup, A. Crida, L. Dones, T. R. Spilker, G. I. Ogilvie

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