E and G rings not shown Saturn Rings Backlit Exaggerated Color Earth E G F A BD
C Rings, Ringlets, Details Rings in gaps between rings A, B and F rings Ring Details
C Ring (Left) and B Ring (Right) Details Ring Details (D, C, B, A, F) Enceladus and Saturns E Ring Enceladus is spraying ice into space
These chunks go into orbit around Saturn These form the E ring
Enceladus Ripples in the Rings Each radius orbits at a different speed As small moons pass ring particles, their orbits are distorted Their orbits wobble slightly Net effect: they move away from the small moon
Moons clear gaps around themselves Moon: Daphnis Shepherd Moons Pandora
Pairs of moons can keep a ring between them Very narrow rings usually have a pair of shepherd moons
Saturns F-ring is kept in place by Prometheus and Pandora Q. 54: Narrow Rings Prometheus Jupiters Rings Faint and dark Mostly microscopic dust Some portions are dust from known moons
Remainder probably dust from undiscovered moons Uranuss Rings 13 known rings
Very dark material Shepherd moons for bright ring Small amounts of dust between rings
Composition varies by ring, but typically Ice with dark covering? Typical size object around 1 m Source: Probably collisionally shattered moon(s)
Shepherd Moons for Uranuss Ring Shepherd Moons ring Neptunes Rings
5 known rings Very dark material Mostly tiny dust Probably shattered moons? The Dregs of the Solar System Dwarf Planets
August 24, 2006: IAU defines a planet 1.Goes around a star 2.Is big enough to be round 3.Is much bigger than all other things in its neighborhood combined A dwarf planet satisfies 1 and 2, but not 3 A small solar system body satisfies only 1
Ultima Thule flyby (January 19) Recent Missions to Kuiper Belt / Comets Rosetta New Horizons The Kuiper Belt Icy bodies, some rock/dust Mostly beyond Neptune
Too sparse to coalesce More than 1000 known Probably about 100,000 larger than 100 km Size: All are smaller than our Moon Six or so known with diameter > 1000 km Kuiper Belt: Location Pluto and its Moons
1 medium moon Charon 4 known small moons Styx Kerberos Nix Hydra
Pluto & Charon: Size, Orbit, Rotation Pluto half the size of Mercury Charon half the size of Pluto Close together Tidally locked to each other Actual separation Pluto
Mostly nitrogen Pluto Surprises Pluto has mountains on its surface Almost certainly made of water ice Pluto has almost no craters on it! Young surface Difficult to explain Ultima Thule
After passing Pluto system, New Horizons was redirected to examine a small Kuiper belt object near its path An obscure KBO called Ultima Thule was chosen as the target 33 km in length On Jan. 1, 2019, New Horizons made its closest approach and took images
These pictures are still being returned Eris Eris has one known small moon
Orbit more eccentric than Pluto Orbit more inclined than Pluto Eris Eris
Dysnomia Largest Kuiper Belt Objects Eris and Pluto would be considered large moons Composition similar to many outer moons
Q. 55: Mass of Kuiper Belt Objects Moon Kuiper Belt Objects
Planetismals Formed in outer solar system Never coalesced - too few Giant Planets toss them around Tossed out - join the Oort Cloud Tossed in - become short period comets
Kuiper Belt and Short Period Comets Neptune distorts orbit Object becomes a comet Neptune
Kuiper Belt The Oort Cloud Icy bodies, some rocks/dust Billions of objects Hundreds or thousands of AU from the Sun Passing stars can change their orbits Swing in to become long period comets
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