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Let's say an Earth-like terrestrial planet has a rocky moon, and that moon has small rings, probably from pulling apart an asteroid, comet, or something similar. From my personal research, I know it's possible for moons to have rings, but nothing specifically about how they theoretically could affect the tides of a planet.

Would these rings affect the main planet's tides? To be honest, I'm also not sure why the main planet wouldn't just pull the rings away from the moon, but it's an interesting idea, anyway. My only thought to remedy that is perhaps the rings could've been present temporarily in the planet's history, but dispersed later.

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  • $\begingroup$ @JiminyCricket. I'm referring to the possibility of Saturn's moon Rhea having rings. It's not proven, but it's also not disproven: wikipedia, Rings of Rhea. The main difference of course being that Saturn is not a terrestrial planet. $\endgroup$ May 27 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ That's pretty amazing to contemplate, not sure how it's never come-up before. Thanks for the link. $\endgroup$ May 27 at 3:52

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Not much differently than the moon already does: the mass of the ring is almost negligible when compared to that of the moon, and since they are gravitationally bound to it, one can model them in the same center of mass.

If there is any effect is probably a second or third order effect, hardly distinguishable from background fluctuations.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you're being generous that there would even be a 2nd or 3rd order effect. Worse, a moon with enough gravity to hold the rings in place would either have an enormous (if not catastrophic) effect on an Earth-like planet or it would be so far away that the rings would have even less effect. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 27 at 5:01
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Agreed with L.Dutch. Moreover, because the moon always faces us the same way no matter where it is in its orbit, any additional gravitational pull from the rings would be constant.

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