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Edges of Saturn’s rings are fractal

Li, Jun and Ostoja-Starzewski, Martin (2015) Edges of Saturn’s rings are fractal. SpringerPlus, 4 . Art. No. 158. ISSN 2193-1801. PMCID PMC4392038. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150427-083905396

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Abstract

The images recently sent by the Cassini spacecraft mission (on the NASA website http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/halloffame/) show the complex and beautiful rings of Saturn. Over the past few decades, various conjectures were advanced that Saturn’s rings are Cantor-like sets, although no convincing fractal analysis of actual images has ever appeared. Here we focus on four images sent by the Cassini spacecraft mission (slide #42 “Mapping Clumps in Saturn’s Rings”, slide #54 “Scattered Sunshine”, slide #66 taken two weeks before the planet’s August 2009 equinox, and slide #68 showing edge waves raised by Daphnis on the Keeler Gap) and one image from the Voyager 2 mission in 1981. Using three box-counting methods, we determine the fractal dimension of edges of rings seen here to be consistently about 1.63 ~ 1.78. This clarifies in what sense Saturn’s rings are fractal.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-0926-6DOIArticle
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392038/PubMed CentralArticle
Additional Information:© 2015 Li and Ostoja-Starzewski; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. Received: 8 January 2015; Accepted: 15 March 2015; Published: 1 April 2015. This work was made possible by the NSF support under the grant CMMI-1030940. Authors’ contributions: JL carried out the analysis of images and helped to draft the manuscript. MO-S conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFCMMI-1030940
Subject Keywords:Saturn’s rings; Fractals; Cassini mission; Ring divisions
PubMed Central ID:PMC4392038
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150427-083905396
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150427-083905396
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56990
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Apr 2015 15:58
Last Modified:06 May 2020 21:58

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