Jupiter's ring system is so faint it was more than 350 years after
the planet was first discovered that it was found to have any
rings at all. The rings of Jupiter are also known as the Jovian
Rings of Jupiter were first observed 350 years after the
Facts about the Rings of Jupiter
Ring Name: Ring Name: 1979 J1R
100,000 - 122, 800 km
Ring Name: 1979 J2R ("Main")
122,800 - 129,200 km
Ring Name: 1979 J3R ("Gossamer")
129,200 - 214,200 km
The distance is measured from the planet center to the start of
Jupiter Odyssey: The Story of
Nasa's Galileo Mission by David M.
Shoemaker by Levy by
David H. Levy
The Giant Planet Jupiter by
John H. Rogers
Jupiter has faint, dark, narrow rings composed
of tiny rock fragments and dust. They do not contain ice, like Saturn's rings.
Jupiter's rings are continuously losing material and being resupplied with new
dust from micrometeors hitting Jupiter's four inner moons (Metis, Adrastea,
Amalthea, and Thebe).
Jupiter's rings was first observed in 1979 by the Voyager 1
spacecraft and it was studied in the 1990s by the
Galileo orbiter. It has also been observed by the Hubble Space
Telescope and from Earth. Ground-based observations of the rings
require the largest available telescopes.
Voyager 1 and 2 Galileo
Unlike Saturn's rings, which
are clearly visible from Earth even through small telescopes,
Jupiter's rings are very difficult to see.
How many rings
Other Planet with Rings
They are believed to have been created largely from
meteoritic impacts on some of Jupiter's many moons and they're
composed mainly of dust particles as opposed to the icy, rocky
debris that encircles Saturn.
Jupiter's Main Rings
The main ring
begins almost 130,000 kms (81,000 miles) above the centre of the
planet and extends outwards a further 7,000 kms (4,350 miles).
Inside the nmain ring are two of Jupiter's 64 known moons, the
small Adrasta and Metis, thought to be the primary culptites of
the majority of the dust opresent in the main ring.
main ring and the cloud top of Jupiter known as the halo, on a
faint cllection of maternial 10,000 kms (6,200 miles) wide.
system is faint and consists mainly of dust. It
is in three sections: the Main ring,
a Halo that orbits closer to Jupiter, and a
1. The Halo Ring - orbits
closer to Jupiter (cloud-like).
2. The Main Ring - narrow
It is 6,400 km wide an less than
30 km thick. This very thin ring has a mass of about 10 13 kg. The
ring is about 7,000 km wide; it starts at 122,800 km from the
center of Jupiter and has an abrupt outer edge 129,130 km from the
center of Jupiter. Two small moons, Adrastea and Metis, orbit
within the Main ring; they may be the source of the dust in this
It is a faint, wide ring that has
the shape of a doughnut. It is about 22,800 wide and is about
20,000 km thick. This ring starts at 100,000 km from the center of
Jupiter; the outer edge of the Halo merges into the Main ring.
3. The Gossamer Ring - very wide Gossamer ring that extends
far from Jupiter. - very transparent
Gossamer Ring has two parts: the
Amalthea Gossamer Ring (closer to Jupiter) and the Thebe Gossamer
It is a very faint and very wide
ring. It consists of two rings, one embedded within the other. It
is composed of very tiny particles, the microscopic debris from
the moons, Amalthea and Thebe. The Gossamer ring starts at 129,000
km from the center of Jupiter and extends beyond the orbit of the
The ring is
now known to be composed of three major components. The "Main"
ring is about 7,000 km wide and has an abrupt outer boundary
129,130 km from the center of the planet. The main ring
encompasses the orbits of two small moons, Adrastea and Metis,
which may act as the source for the dust that makes up most of the
ring. At its inner edge the main ring merges gradually into the
"Halo." The halo is a broad, faint torus of material about 20,000
km thick and extending halfway from the main ring down to the
You can see Jupiter with your own eyes?
are mostly made of ice. Jupiter's rings are different - they are
very dark and difficult to see. They are made up of small bits of
The rings have
an albedo of 0.05; they do not reflect very much of the sunlight
that they receive.
Jupiter's rings are thought to have been
formed a sa result of meteorites colliding with the
Rings of Jupiter
JPL Photojournal: Jupiter's Inner Satellites and Ring
Components (Image reference: 30 December 2011)
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