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Jupiter: Rings
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Tenuous rings of fine dust particles encircle Jupiter in a ring system apparently created by small moons.

Unlike the brilliant, icy rings of Saturn, Jupiter's rings are tenuous, dusty structures. And although Saturn's iconic rings were first spied by Galileo in 1610, Jupiter's faint rings were not spied until the 1970s, when spacecraft first visited the Jupiter system. All four giant planets in our solar system have rings.

Jupiter's ring system has three main components: a pair of very faint outer rings called the gossamer rings; a wide, flat main ring; and a thick inner ring called the halo.

The rings appear to be created by dust thrown off by impacts on small moons. The gossamer rings are bounded by the orbits of the moons Amalthea and Thebe. Adrastea and Metis skirt the outer edges of the main ring.

Jupiter's Rings
Ring Name: 1979 J1R ("Halo")
Distance*: 100,000 - 122, 800 km
Width: 22,800 km

Ring Name: 1979 J2R ("Main")
Distance*: 122,800 - 129,200 km
Width: 6,400 km
Mass: x 1013 kg

Ring Name: 1979 J3R ("Gossamer")
Distance*: 129,200 - 214,200 km
Width: 85,000 km

* The distance is measured from the planet center to the start of the ring.
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Last Updated: 25 Mar 2015