Does Venus Have Any Rings?

Author: Staff Writer
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Venus does NOT have any rings.

Planetary rings consist of large collections of dust, ice and rock orbiting a planet. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the four outer planets, are the only planets around which rings of debris have formed. Venus, known as one of the terrestrial planets, is a rocky orb with characteristics more similar to Earth than to the outer planets. The four planets closest to the sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus and Mars, are referred to as inner planets. None of the inner planets have rings.

Why Doesn't Venus Have Rings?

Though the question of why Venus and the other inner planets do not have rings has not been conclusively answered by scientists, one theory is that the rings around the outer planets contain frozen gases not found closer to the sun. Scientists believe that the farther away a planet is from the sun the more likely it is to have rings and moons. The moons of the ringed planets are believed to contribute to keeping the material that makes up the rings in orbit. Frozen matter stays in place, as well, because it is too far from the sun to be affected by its heat.

What is the Ring of Venus?

The ring of Venus, also called Venus's ring of fire, may be seen when Venus makes its infrequent transit across the front of the sun. The bright ring visible around the rim of the planet's silhouette during this transit is caused by Venus's thick atmosphere refracting light from the sun. It is not a planetary ring like the ones found around the outer planets.

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Works Cited

Ask an Astronomer
Curious About Astronomy?
http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/planets.php

NASA
Solar System Exploration: Planets: Venus: Facts & Figures
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=Facts&System=Metric

World Science
Ring of fire" to offer clues about Venus, our hellish twin planet
http://www.world-science.net/othernews/120605_Venus.htm







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"Does Venus Have Any Rings?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/does-venus-have-any-rings.html>.  

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