Post facts and photos of astronomical phenomena.

Do You Know How Many Planets Have Rings Around Them? Find Out

How Many Planets Have Rings Around Them
Do you know how many planets have rings around them? Everyone believes that only Saturn has rings around it. But the truth is, apart from Saturn, even Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have rings around them.
Maya Pillai
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2018
The detailed study of the stars, planets, galaxies and comets are applied in the understanding of the cosmic background radiation that takes place consistently beyond the atmosphere of the Earth is known as astronomy. Not surprising that astronomy is one of the oldest sciences around.

Earlier, astronomers were very methodical in the approach of their observations of the night sky. This observation-based science was only able to develop into the modern science it is today, after the invention of the telescope.

The following sections elaborate...
Planets with Rings
Many of us know about the rings around the planet Saturn. But are you aware of the fact that there are other planets which have rings around them too! The planets that have rings apart from Saturn, are Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus.
Uranus on dark background
William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, and this was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope. The rings of Uranus were discovered in 1977 by James Elliot, Edward Dunham, and Douglas Mink. Thirteen rings comprise the ring system of this planet. From the outside, they are named 1986U2R/Zeta, 6, 5, 4, Alpha, Beta, Eta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Epsilon, Nu, and Mu. In 1986, the spacecraft Voyager sent some of the best images of the ring system to the space station. The images revealed that belts of fine dust surround the nine rings. Another fact is that most of the rings of this planet are opaque.
Saturn on dark background
The rings of Saturn were discovered by Galileo in the year 1610, the earliest discovery of rings around any planet. This is the most elaborate ring system in the entire solar system. One of the prominent features of Saturn is the ring which consists of ice particles and rocky debris. In 1980 and 1981, the spacecraft Voyager I and II sent the images of the rings of Saturn to the Earth. These rings are named in alphabetically in the order of their discovery. The rings working outward from the planet are named as C, B, and A. The largest gap that separates the two rings is that of A and B, and is known as the Cassini division. The ring that is closest to the planet is D, and this ring is faint. The rings are gaseous in nature and are composed of water ice, which are of the size ranging from microns to meters.
Neptune on dark background
Neptune was the first planet to be discovered through mathematical predictions rather than through a telescope. In 1846, at the Berlin Observatory, Johann Gottfried Galle confirmed the presence of Neptune. The rings of Neptune are incomplete arcs. They were first discovered in the mid-1980s. In 1989, the images sent by spacecraft Voyager II confirmed that the ring system of Neptune contains several faint rings. The outermost ring is known as Adams, and this contains the three main arcs named Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Later, Voyager's cameras detected many more rings, such as the Arago ring, the Galle ring, and the Lassell ring.
Jupiter on dark background
The planet Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, and distance wise is 5th from the sun. Jupiter's ring system was discover by the Voyager I Probe in 1979. Jupiter's rings are made up of three-ring patterns: one, the halo, which is the innermost ring; second, the main ring in the middle; and third, the gossamer ring, which is the outermost ring. In fact, the Galileo Probe discovered that the gossamer ring is actually made up of two rings, with one ring embedded into the other. These rings have a very thin consistency, and are made up mostly of microscopic dust particles and fragments of rocks. The dust is believed to be from two of Jupiter's moons, Amalthea and Thebe. The rings of Jupiter lose material continuously, and are replenished with new dust which forms from the micro-meteors that hit the inner moons of Jupiter.
Outer space has held mankind in awe for ages, and as the centuries and decades go by, we are still discovering new and amazing things about the solar system. Scientific advancements have allowed us to discover which planets have rings, and which don't. As time goes by, we will definitely discover a lot more about outer space and the universe.
Uranus planet. including elements furnished by NASA
Abstract cosmos background - space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA
Cartoon Uranus Sign
moon and exoplanet in a deep space
Uranus planet
Uranus planet. including elements furnished by NASA