Planetary Ring Systems

Capa
Springer Science & Business Media, 3 de dez de 2007 - 234 páginas

Miner and Wessen have teamed together again, along with noted planetary ring scientist, Dr Jeffrey Cuzzi, to produce the most comprehensive and up-to date book on the topic of planetary rings systems yet written. The book is written in a style and at a language level easily accessible to the interested non-expert. The authors cover the scientific significance of ring studies, the history of their discovery and characterization, the observations of Pioneer 10 at Jupiter, Pioneer 11 and Voyager 1 at Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager 2 at all four giant planets of the solar system, and Galileo at Jupiter. The discussion also includes subsequent scientific analyses of the observations, along with the accompanying theoretical studies, including various theories for the origins of planetary ring systems. Finally, the four ring systems are both compared and contrasted in a chapter on comparative planetology.

Early additional findings from the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn (due to arrive in July 2004) will also be included. The first series of ring orbits by Cassini occur between May and October 2005 and this book will provide the first summary of these detailed observations, the first since the flyby of Voyager 2 in 1981. Images of Saturn, as the Cassini spacecraft approached the planet in spring 2004, revealed a wealth of detail in the ring system, a foretaste of the excitement to come.

Each chapter includes extensive notes, references, figures and tables. A bibliography is also included at the end of each chapter, for those who want to peruse the existing literature. Both a glossary and a topical index will make the book a useful reference tool for planetary scientists as well as for the targeted audience of non-experts.

 

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The scientific significance of planetary ring systems
1
12 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
2
13 MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS SHARED BY THE KNOWN RING SYSTEMS
4
14 MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE KNOWN RING SYSTEMS
5
15 WHAT CAUSES RING SYSTEMS?
7
16 WHAT RINGS TELL US ABOUT THE PLANET THEY CIRCLE
9
17 WHAT RINGS TELL US ABOUT THE NEARBY MOONS
11
18 RINGS AS A NATURAL LABORATORY FOR MANYBODY INTERACTIONS
13
86 PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE RINGS
102
87 NOTES AND REFERENCES
103
88 BIBLIOGRAPHY
104
PreCassini knowledge of the Saturn ring system 91 INTRODUCTION
105
92 NOMENCLATURE AND RADIAL DIMENSIONS OF THE SATURNIAN RINGS
106
93 VERTICAL STRUCTURE IN SATURNS RINGS
111
94 AZIMUTHAL NONUNIFORMITY IN SATURNS RINGS
114
95 GRAVITATIONAL INTERACTIONS OF SATURNS RINGS AND SATELLITES
118

19 OUTLINE OF THE REMAINDER OF THIS BOOK
14
110 NOTES AND REFERENCES
15
112 PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS
16
The discovery of the Saturn ring system 21 FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF SATURNS COMPANIONS
17
22 A MODEL FOR THE RING EMERGES
20
23 THE NATURE OF THE RINGS
23
24 ENCOUNTERS WITH THE RINGS
27
25 NOTES AND REFERENCES
32
26 BIBLIOGRAPHY
33
The discovery of the Uranus ring system 31 FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF URANUSS RING
35
32 OBSERVATIONS PRIOR TO VOYAGERS URANUS ENCOUNTER
39
33 VOYAGER 2S ENCOUNTER WITH URANUSS RINGS
41
34 POSTVOYAGER OBSERVATIONS OF URANUSS RINGS
45
35 NOTES AND REFERENCES
46
36 BIBLIOGRAPHY
48
The discovery of the Jupiter ring system 41 FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF JUPITERS RING
49
42 THE SECOND ENCOUNTER WITH JUPITERS RING
51
43 GALILEO ENCOUNTER
53
44 GALILEO RING OBSERVATIONS
54
45 NOTES AND REFERENCES
57
46 BIBLIOGRAPHY
58
47 PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS
59
The discovery of the Neptune ring system 51 FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF NEPTUNES RING
60
52 MORE STELLAR RING OCCULTATIONS
62
53 THE VOYAGER 2 NEPTUNE ENCOUNTER
63
54 THE RINGS OF NEPTUNE
68
55 NOTES AND REFERENCES
71
56 BIBLIOGRAPHY
72
Present knowledge of the Jupiter ring system 61 INTRODUCTION
73
62 RING RADIAL CHARACTERISTICS
74
64 GOSSAMER RINGS
76
65 HALO RING
77
66 RINGPARTICLE PROPERTIES
79
67 NOTES AND REFERENCES
81
68 BIBLIOGRAPHY
82
Present knowledge of the Uranus ring system 71 INTRODUCTION
83
72 RING DIMENSIONS SHAPES AND INCLINATIONS
84
73 PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE RING PARTICLES
87
731 Ringparticle size distribution
88
732 Ringparticle composition
89
733 Ringparticle reflectivity
90
75 DUST ENVIRONMENT AND POSSIBLE MAGNETIC FIELD INTERACTIONS
92
76 NOTES AND REFERENCES
93
78 PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS
94
Present knowledge of the Neptune ring system 81 INTRODUCTION
95
82 RING RADIAL CHARACTERISTICS
96
83 RING AZIMUTHAL VARIATIONS
99
84 SMALL SATELLITES NEAR THE RINGS
100
85 POSSIBLE ELECTROMAGNETIC EFFECTS
101
96 GAPS AND NONCIRCULAR FEATURES IN SATURNS RINGS
122
97 RARIFIED GASES IN THE VICINITY OF SATURNS RINGS
123
98 RINGPARTICLE PROPERTIES
124
99 REFLECTIVE PROPERTIES OF SATURNS RINGS
128
910 THERMAL PROPERTIES OF SATURNS RINGS
129
911 EARTHBASED OBSERVATIONS OF SATURNS RINGS SINCE 1981
130
912 VOYAGER RADIO OCCULTATION DATA AND THEIR INTERPRETATION
132
913 INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SATURNS RINGS AND MAGNETIC FIELD
133
914 SUMMARY AND MAJOR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS BEFORE CASSINI
135
915 CASSINI SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES FOR SATURN RING OBSERVATIONS
138
916 NOTES AND REFERENCES
139
917 BIBLIOGRAPHY
146
Early results about Saturns rings from Cassini 101 OVERVIEW
147
102 CASSINI SPACECRAFT AND MISSION
149
103 MAIN RING STRUCTURE
153
Spiral density and bending waves
154
Main ring irregular structure
160
C ring and Cassini Division
163
Main ring azimuthal structure
164
Main ring vertical structure
165
Diffuse rings
166
104 RING COMPOSITION AND PARTICLE PROPERTIES
170
Ring particle sizes
171
Rings in the thermal infrared
174
The ring atmosphere
176
105 RINGMOONS AND RINGLETS
177
Embedded moonlets
182
Even smaller embedded chunks and shards
184
106 EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES AND TIME VARIATIONS
185
107 RING ORIGINS
191
108 SUMMARY
192
109 NOTES AND REFERENCES
193
1010 PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS
199
Comparative planetology of the giant planet ring systems 111 INTRODUCTION
201
113 RING AZIMUTHAL STRUCTURE
202
115 GRAVITATIONAL INTERACTIONS OF RINGS WITH SATELLITES
205
116 ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERACTIONS OF RINGS WITH MAGNETIC FIELDS
206
117 RING CREATION EVOLUTION AND AGE
207
118 UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
209
119 NOTES AND REFERENCES
211
1110 BIBLIOGRAPHY
212
Anticipated future observations of planetary ring systems 121 INTRODUCTION
213
122 FUTURE TELESCOPIC OBSERVATIONS AND THEORETICAL STUDIES
214
123 EARTHORBITING TELESCOPIC OBSERVATIONS
215
124 SPACECRAFT MISSIONS TO THE GIANT PLANETS
217
125 NOTES AND REFERENCES
218
126 BIBLIOGRAPHY
219
Glossary
221
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Sobre o autor (2007)

Of all the planets, Saturn is the most instantly recognisable to everyone because of its beautiful system of rings, visible in even a small telescope, discovered by Galileo in 1610, but not recognised for what they are until Christiaan Huygens’ observations in 1655. Until 1977, Saturn’s rings were considered unique, but we now know that all four gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are surrounded by ring systems. However, it is true that the rings of Saturn remain in a class of their own.

James Clerk Maxwell’s fascination with the rings of Saturn was made clear in his 1857 Adams Prize essay. After quoting parts of Maxwell’s essay in their recent Scientific American article on rings ["Bejewelled Worlds", special edition entitled New Light on the Solar System, V. 13, No. 3, pp. 74-83, 2003], Burns, Hamilton and Showalter stated, "A century and a half later Saturn’s rings remain a symbol of all that is exotic and wondrous about the universe".

Ellis Miner and Randii Wessen co-authored the successful Springer-Praxis book, Neptune: the planet, rings and satellites, published in December 2001 which has sold 1076 copies worldwide to date.

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