Voyager 2 images of the Neptunian ring system show it to be relatively dusty with the fraction of micron-sized dust particles in the rings between about 0.2 and 0.7 (Smith et al 1989). We apply a numerical model developed for the dust bands (Colwell and Esposito, Icarus (in press)) to the Neptune system. Our results show that 1) the suggested distribution of dust fractions in the rings is not related to ring optical depth and may be due to different ring particle size distributions. 2) Collision velocities between the macroscopic ring particles must be ∼ 1 m/sec if they are to produce im fractions above 1/2. 3) The small moons of Neptune have regoliths for meteoroid excavation to produce the dust population at Voyager ring plane crossing. 4) Dust optical depths interior to 1989N3R are negligible unless there are macroscopic source bodies in that region.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.