Rings and moons

Rings and moons are the matter that orbit a celestial body other than a star. Rings are a collection of dust or small particles that form into a flat disk. Moons, or natural satellites, are much larger single bodies. Large moons can themselves support rings.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    The authors here report results from the ground-penetrating radar onboard the Yutu-2 rover from the Chagn’E 4 mission. The study presents up to 330 m deep subsurface structure of the Von Karman Crater inside the South Pole Aitken Basin.

    • Jialong Lai
    • , Yi Xu
    • , Roberto Bugiolacchi
    • , Xu Meng
    • , Long Xiao
    • , Minggang Xie
    • , Bin Liu
    • , Kaichang Di
    • , Xiaoping Zhang
    • , Bin Zhou
    • , Shaoxiang Shen
    •  & Luyuan Xu
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Satellites with amateur radio communication capabilities have not been operated in lunar orbit before. Here, the authors present the design and performance of a VHF/UHF software-defined radio developed for and tested on lunar microsatellites.

    • Mingchuan Wei
    • , Chaoran Hu
    • , Daniel Estévez
    • , Mier Tai
    • , Yuhao Zhao
    • , Jiahe Huang
    • , Cees Bassa
    • , Tammo Jan Dijkema
    • , Xibin Cao
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Research |

    Titan is migrating away from Saturn on a much shorter timescale than expected, lending support to the resonance-locking tidal theory. This result motivates a revision of the evolutionary history of Saturn’s moon system and may be relevant to other giant planets.

    • Valéry Lainey
    • , Luis Gomez Casajus
    • , Jim Fuller
    • , Marco Zannoni
    • , Paolo Tortora
    • , Nicholas Cooper
    • , Carl Murray
    • , Dario Modenini
    • , Ryan S. Park
    • , Vincent Robert
    •  & Qingfeng Zhang
  • Research |

    A zirconium-based crystal (baddeleyite) found embedded in a sample brought to Earth by Apollo 17 provides evidence of large-scale impact bombardment of the Moon about 4.33 Gyr ago, when the baddeleyite grain was formed. This result points to the importance of impacts in the early evolution of planetary crusts.

    • L. F. White
    • , A. Černok
    • , J. R. Darling
    • , M. J. Whitehouse
    • , K. H. Joy
    • , C. Cayron
    • , J. Dunlop
    • , K. T. Tait
    •  & M. Anand
  • Research |

    It is difficult to reproduce the formation and composition of the moons of Uranus with a standard giant-impact model. Observations and modelling can be reconciled if the evolution of the water content in the disk, which is assumed to be vaporized and thus mostly accretes onto the planet before recondensation, is considered.

    • Shigeru Ida
    • , Shoji Ueta
    • , Takanori Sasaki
    •  & Yuya Ishizawa
    Nature Astronomy 4, 880-885

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