Stability of Neptune's ring arcs in question

Christophe Dumas, Richard J. Terrile, Bradford A. Smith, Glenn Schneider, E. E. Becklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Although all four of the gas-giant planets in the Solar System have ring systems, only Neptune exhibits 'ring arcs' - stable clumps of dust that are discontinuous from each other. Two basic mechanisms for confining the dust to these arcs have been proposed. The first relies on orbital resonances with two shepherding satellites, while the second invokes a single satellite (later suggested to be Galatea) to produce the observed ring arc structures. Here we report observations of the ring arcs and Galatea, which show that there is a mismatch between the locations of the arcs and the site of Galatea's co-rotation inclined resonance. This result calls into question Galatea's sole role in confining the arcs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-735
Number of pages3
Issue number6746
StatePublished - Aug 19 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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