Title

METER-SIZED MOONLET POPULATION IN SATURN'S C RING AND CASSINI DIVISION

Authors

Authors

K. Baillie; J. E. Colwell; L. W. Esposito;M. C. Lewis

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Astron. J.

Keywords

instrumentation: photometers; methods: observational; planets and; satellites: rings; space vehicles: instruments; PLANETARY RINGS; F-RING; SELF-GRAVITY; A-RING; OCCULTATIONS; ACCRETION; DISTRIBUTIONS; PARTICLES; FEATURES; WAVES; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Abstract

Stellar occultations observed by the Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph reveal the presence of transparent holes a few meters to a few tens of meters in radial extent in otherwise optically thick regions of the C ring and the Cassini Division. We attribute the holes to gravitational disturbances generated by a population of similar to 10 m boulders in the rings that is intermediate in size between the background ring particle size distribution and the previously observed similar to 100 m propeller moonlets in the A ring. The size distribution of these boulders is described by a shallower power-law than the one that describes the ring particle size distribution. The number and size distribution of these boulders could be explained by limited accretion processes deep within Saturn's Roche zone.

Journal Title

Astronomical Journal

Volume

145

Issue/Number

6

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

10

WOS Identifier

WOS:000333343700014

ISSN

0004-6256

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