Skip to main content
SearchLogin or Signup

Sudden changes in the structure and orbit of one of Saturn's dusty rings

Published onAug 03, 2020
Sudden changes in the structure and orbit of one of Saturn's dusty rings

A dusty ringlet officially designated R/2006 S3 and informally called the "Charming Ringlet" occupies a gap within the outer part of the Cassini Division in Saturn's main rings. Prior to 2010, the ringlet had a simple radial profile and a predictable eccentric shape with two components, one forced by solar radiation pressure and the other freely precessing around the planet. However, observations made by the Cassini spacecraft after 2012 revealed changes in the ringlet's brightness profile, including a new shelf of material extending around 50 km from its inner flank. Furthermore, in these new images the freely-precessing component of the ringlet’s eccentricity was over 50% larger than its value prior to 2010. Some event therefore appears to have disturbed both the structure and orbit of this ringlet between 2010 and late 2012.


Comments
0
comment

No comments here