The planet Jupiter
has a system of rings
, known as the rings of Jupiter
or the Jovian ring system
. It was the third ring system to be discovered in the Solar System
, after those of Saturn
. It was first observed in 1979 by the Voyager 1 space probe
and thoroughly investigated in the 1990s by the Galileo
orbiter. It has also been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope
and from Earth
for the past 23 years. Ground-based observations of the rings require the largest available telescopes
The Jovian ring system is faint and consists mainly of dust. It has four main components: a thick inner torus of particles known as the "halo ring"; a relatively bright, exceptionally thin "main ring"; and two wide, thick and faint outer "gossamer rings", named for the moons of whose material they are composed: Amalthea and Thebe.
The main and halo rings consist of dust ejected from the moons Metis, Adrastea and other unobserved parent bodies as the result of high-velocity impacts. High-resolution images obtained in February and March 2007 by the New Horizons spacecraft revealed a rich fine structure in the main ring.
Carl Edward Sagan
(November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer
, author and science popularizer
and science communicator
in the space
and natural sciences
. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he advocated skeptical inquiry
and the scientific method
. He pioneered exobiology
and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. A book to accompany the program was also published. Sagan also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 film of the same name.