The Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn for over 13 years and collected stellar occultations using an Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS). Chord occultations were analyzed using autocorrelations at minimum ring plane radius to visualize the structure and correlation in the azimuthal direction. These particle tracking occultations cut a chord across the rings in the path of the star. By taking the autocorrelation of these chord occultations, 8 out of the 66 showed clumping within the first 3.0 km in azimuth, representing signs of a structure. Six of those occultations could be moonlets or propellers as their minimum ring plane radii are in the Propeller Belt region. The Fast Fourier Transform Power Spectrum of the autocorrelation was also taken, and 6 of the 8 had high peak power outputs at certain wavelengths. It is also observed that five of the occultations may contain self-gravity wakes.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Benyamine, Lamia, "Exploring Mesoscale Structures using Chord Occultations of Saturn’s Rings" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 915.