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The Eccentric Saturnian Ringlets at 1.29R_s and 1.45R_s

Porco, C. and Nicholson, P. D. and Borderies, N. and Danielson, G. E. and Goldreich, P. and Holberg, J. B. and Lane, A. L. (1984) The Eccentric Saturnian Ringlets at 1.29R_s and 1.45R_s. Icarus, 60 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(84)90134-9.

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The shapes and kinematics of the two major eccentric ringlets in Saturn's C ring are studied in data acquired by four Voyager experiments: imaging science (ISS), radio science (RSS), ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS), and photopolarimeter (PPS). It is found that the ringlets have mean widths of ∼25 km (Titan, 1.29 R_s) and ∼64 km (Maxwell, 1.45R_s), eccentricities of order 10^(−4), sharp edges on a scale of ∼1 km, normal optical depths τ ∼ 1−2, and are embedded in essentially empty gaps (τ < 0.05). In addition, they exhibit positive linear width-radius relations, suggesting that differential precession across the ringlets is being prevented by the self-gravity of the ring particles. The kinematics of the Maxwell ringlet are determined solely by Saturn's nonspherical gravity field; the kinematics of the Titan ringlet are apparently determined by its interaction with Titan. Masses, mean surface mass densities, and mass extinction coefficients have been calculated. The comparatively large optical depths and mass extinction coefficients in these features suggest an environment and particle size distribution different from the remainder of the C ring and presumably caused by the mechanism responsible for ring confinement.

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Nicholson, P. D.0000-0003-2275-4463
Additional Information:© 1984 Academic Press, Inc. Received October 21, 1983; revised May 25, 1984. We acknowledge fruitful discussions with G. Colombo and R. Greenberg and the assistance of A. Graps, H. Zebker, and L. Tyler in acquiring and analyzing Voyager occultation data. L. Esposito and F. Shu are thanked for valuable comments. This work has been supported by NASA Grants NGL 05-002-003 and 7-100 and by NSF Grant AST 80-20005.
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NASANGL 05-002-003
NSFAST 80-20005
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3960
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Official Citation:C. Porco, P.D. Nicholson, N. Borderies, G.E. Danielson, P. Goldreich, J.B. Holdberg, A.L. Lane, The eccentric Saturnian ringlets at 1.29Rs and 1.45Rs, Icarus, Volume 60, Issue 1, October 1984, Pages 1-16, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1016/0019-1035(84)90134-9. (
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ID Code:37219
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Mar 2013 16:23
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:27

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