Density waves in Cassini UVIS stellar occultations 1. The Cassini Division
Abbreviated Journal Title
Saturn, rings; Planetary, rings; PARTICLE EROSION MECHANISMS; PLANETARY RING-SYSTEMS; SATURNS RINGS; BALLISTIC TRANSPORT; RADIAL STRUCTURE; SATELLITES; DISPERSION; EXAMPLES; Astronomy & Astrophysics
We analyze density waves in the Cassini Division of Saturn's rings revealed by multiple stellar occultations by Saturn's rings observed with the Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph. The dispersion and damping of density waves provide information on the local ring surface mass density and viscosity. Several waves in the Cassini Division are on gradients in the background optical depth, and we find that the dispersion of the wave reflects a change in the underlying surface mass density. We find that over most of the Cassini Division the ring opacity (the ratio of optical depth to surface mass density) is nearly constant and is similar to 5 times higher than the opacity in the A ring where most density waves are found. However, the Cassini Division ramp, a 1100-km-wide, nearly featureless region of low optical depth that connects the Cassini Division to the inner edge of the A ring, has an opacity like that of the A ring and significantly less than that in the rest of the Cassini Division. This is consistent with particles in the ramp originating in the A ring and being transported into the Cassini Division through ballistic transport processes. Damping of the waves in the Cassini Division suggests a vertical thickness of 3-6 m. Using a mean opacity of 0.1 cm(2)/g we find the mass of the Cassini Division, excluding the ramp, is 3.1 x 10(16) kg while the mass of the Cassini Division ramp, with an opacity of 0.015 cm(2)/g, is 1.1 x 10(17) kg. Assuming a power-law size distribution for the ring particles, the larger opacity of the main Cassini Division is consistent with the largest ring particles there being similar to 5 times smaller than the largest particles in the ramp and A ring. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Density waves in Cassini UVIS stellar occultations 1. The Cassini Division" (2009). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 1432.