, Volume 137, Issue 1-4, pp 435-453
Date: 11 Jul 2008

The Charging of Planetary Rings

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Abstract

This chapter will review what is known about the charging of planetary rings, in particular the sum of the individual currents from the time-varying charge dQ/dt, of the planetary ring particle. For the smallest ring particles, in addition to checking the plasma conditions for the charging currents, one must consider if collective effects in the ring environment are relevant. Two planetary ring environments that have held a strong interest for ring scientists in the last two decades are Saturn’s spokes in the B Ring and the environment of Saturn’s E ring. Two sections of this chapter will describe these planetary ring charging environments in detail. Finally, we describe two charging effects that demonstrate areas of future studies while providing fresh examples of the intriguing effects from planetary ring charging processes.