How Rings Form around a Planet

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This is a crude model of the formation of a ring around a planet, such as Saturn in our solar system. An asteroid, comet, or moon is broken into a number of fragments. Their positions are slightly different and, because of Kepler's third law, the periods of the inner fragments are smaller. This produces the large-scale effect of the fragments spreading out over the whole orbit.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Based on the contents of the site "Los Anillos de un Planeta" (in Spanish).

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