How Many Rings Does the Planet Neptune Have and What is Neptune’s Ring System Made of?

Neptune has at least five discernible rings made of microscopic particles of dust.

They are so thin, diffuse, and uneven that all but one disappear at some point.

The system begins about 10,000 miles (16,000 km) above Neptune’s clouds and extends for 13,000 miles (21,000 km).

The widest ring, called the Plateau, stretches for almost 2,500 miles (4,000 km).

The thinnest ring is only 18 miles (30 km) wide.

The first of these planetary rings was discovered in 1968 by a team led by Edward Guinan.

Recent observations in 2005 showed that Neptune’s rings are much more unstable than previously thought.

Images taken show considerable decay in the rings, and astronomers speculate that the Liberté arc may disappear in as little as one century.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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