Physical studies of the planetary rings

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Abstract

In this review paper, the physical properties of the Saturnian and Uranian rings as derived from ground-based observations are first discussed. Focus is then shifted to the study of the orbital dynamics of the ring particles. Numerical simulations of the evolutionary history of a system of colliding particles in differential rotation together with theoretical modelling of the inelastic collision processes are surveyed. In anticipation of the information returned from in situ measurements by space probes, interactions of the planetary rings with the interplanetary meteoroids and planetary magnetospheres are briefly considered. Finally, models of planetary ring origin are examined. In this connection, some recent work on the satellite resonant perturbation effects on the ring structure are also touched upon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-96
Number of pages58
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1980

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