Structure in the Gossamer Ring

Structure in the Gossamer Ring

Full-Res GIF (67.9 kB)


This image is a mosaic of four Galileo images from the C10 encounter, C0416088922, C0416088968, C0416089022, and C04160890645. It provides an edge- on view of the gossamer ring at a phase angle of 179 degrees. This high phase angle emphasizes very fine dust. The image has been enhanced logarithmically in order to reveal the faintest structures. The full dynamic range is a factor of 1000, with each step in color (blue to red, red to yellow, and yellow to black and white) indicating roughly a ten-fold increase in brightness. The image has also been stretched vertically by a factor of two to better reveal the vertical structure of the Jovian ring system.

The main ring and halo are seen at left in black and white. Shown in yellow is the Amalthea ring, named because it is precisely bounded by the orbit of the moon Amalthea. It appears to be composed of dust raised up off Amalthea and spiralling inward. Shown in red is a thicker, fainter ring of dust spiralling inward from a smaller moon, Thebe. The faint blue extension to the Thebe ring is unexplained. The thickness of each of these rings matches exactly the vertical limits of the inclined orbit of its source moon.

Image Note: Image courtesy of Mark Showalter