Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

shepherd moons - Personnel, Production, Charts

rings ring discovered planets

Small natural moons whose gravitational fields serve to confine narrow rings around some of the outer planets. For example, the ‘F’ Ring of Saturn discovered by Pioneer 11 is a ribbon c.100 km/60 mi wide; its ‘braided’ structure was observed by Voyager spacecraft, which also discovered moons Pandora and Prometheus near the ring edges. Uranus's Epsilon Ring is similarly bounded by Ophelia and Cordelia. Shepherd moons are believed to control other narrow rings around these planets, but they have not yet been discovered; analogously, small moons within the rings are believed responsible for gaps observed in the rings.

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