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Planetary Ring Systems

Book description

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.

Reviews

'… 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 Source: The Observatory: A Review of Astronomy

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