Andre Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died on 15 May 2016 in Paris, France. He was 73.
In 1984, Brahic with US astronomer William Hubbard launched a program that led to the discovery of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune.
About Andre Brahic
• Andre Fernand Brahic was a French astrophysicist.
• He was a member of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and a professor at the University of Paris.
• He was also on the imaging team for the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft.
• In 1990, the asteroid 3488 Brahic was named in his honour.
• In 2001, he was given the Carl Sagan Medal.
Rings of Neptune
• The rings of Neptune consist primarily of five principal rings and were first discovered in 1984 in Chile.
• The rings were eventually imaged in 1989 by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
• At their densest, they are comparable to the less dense portions of Saturn's main rings such as the C ring and the Cassini Division. However, much of Neptune's ring system is tenuous, faint and dusty.
• Neptune's rings are named after astronomers who contributed important work on the planet: Galle, Le Verrier, Lassell, Arago and Adams.
• The rings of Neptune are made of extremely dark material, likely organic compounds processed by radiation.
• The proportion of dust in the rings (between 20% and 70%) is high, while their optical depth is low to moderate, at less than 0.1.
• The Adams ring includes five distinct arcs, named Fraternité, Égalité, Liberté (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity), the national motto of France.
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When: 15 May 2016
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