Name: david a maxa
Date: 1993 - 1999
Why is it that rings only form around gas giants?
There's a couple of possible reasons:
1) a minimum planetary mass is needed before a planet can have rings,
and in our solar system only the gas giants have enough mass.
2) rings can only form around planets in the outer part of a solar
system, and in our system these planets all happen to be gas giants
(except, of course, for Pluto which is actually a small binary planet
with its moon Charon -- not enough mass for rings)
The real reason may be a combination of 1) and 2)
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Update: June 2012