rings of Uranus
Infrared images showing the change
in appearance of Uranus's rings as seen from Earth.
Credit: I. de Pater & H. Hammel/Keck Observatory.
Uranus has a faint system of 13 narrow, elliptical-shaped rings, composed of dark dust and rocks up to about 10 meters in diameter. The ring system was discovered in 1977, during an occultation of a star by the planet. As the star first approached and then receded behind the planet it appear to blink off and on – a blinking found to be due to a system of rings. For more pictures of the rings, see Uranus gallery. See also Uranus, moons.
|ring||distance from center
of Uranus (km)
|width of ring
|Epsilon||51,149||20 to 96||0.00794|
|Delta||48,300||3 to 7||0.00004||0.001|
|Gamma||47,627||1 to 4||0.00109||0.000|
|Beta||45,661||5 to 11||0.00044||0.005|
|Alpha||44,720||4 to 10||0.00076||0.015|