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Observations of Saturn's Ring-Plane Crossings in August and November 1995

Nicholson, Philip D. and Showalter, Mark R. and Dones, Luke and French, Richard G. and Larson, Stephen M. and Lissauer, Jack J. and McGhee, Colleen A. and Seitzer, Patrick and Sicardy, Bruno and Danielson, G. Edward (1996) Observations of Saturn's Ring-Plane Crossings in August and November 1995. Science, 272 (5261). pp. 509-515. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.272.5261.509.

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Observations of Saturn's ring system with the Hubble Space Telescope during the 10 August 1995 Earth crossing and the 17 to 21 November 1995 solar crossing indicate that the F ring dominates their apparent edge-on thickness of 1.2 to 1.5 kilometers. The F ring is slightly inclined with respect to the A ring, which may explain the approximately 50-minute difference in apparent crossing times for the east and west ring ansae in August. Prometheus lags its predicted position by about 19 degrees in longitude. The faint G ring is neutral or reddish in color and is confined to a radial range of 2.72 to 2.85 Saturn radii. The broad, distinctly blue E ring flares outward to a maximum thickness of about 15,000 kilometers at 7.5 Saturn radii and appears to have a spatially uniform particle size distribution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Nicholson, Philip D.0000-0003-2275-4463
Lissauer, Jack J.0000-0001-6513-1659
Additional Information:© 1996 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 4 March 1996; accepted 1 April 1996. We appreciate discussions with A. Bosh, C. Murray, J. Cuzzi, and R. Jacobson. The Laplace plane calculations were done by G. Black. The HST scheduling was handled by A. Lubenow and A. Storrs. We used the support tools provided by the Planetary Data System's Rings Node both in planning image sequences and in analyzing the satellite observations taken with the NASNESA HST, obtained by STScI, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Further support was provided by NASA grants NAGW-544, NAGW-1368, NAGW- 247, and RTOPS 151-01-60-12 and 151-01-60-09. P.D.N. acknowledges the hospitality of Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ, where much of this paper was written, and Queen Mary and Westfield College, London.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASARTOP 151-01-60-12
NASARTOP 151-01-60-09
Issue or Number:5261
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141216-085837992
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Official Citation:Observations of Saturn's Ring-Plane Crossings in August and November 1995 Philip D. Nicholson, Mark R. Showalter, Luke Dones, Richard G. French, Stephen M. Larson, Jack J. Lissauer, Colleen A. McGhee, Patrick Seitzer, Bruno Sicardy, and G. Edward Danielson Science 26 April 1996: 272 (5261), 509-515. [DOI:10.1126/science.272.5261.509]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52847
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Dec 2014 17:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:44

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