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Solar Occultation Observations of Saturn’s Rings with Cassini UVIS

Presentation #411.01 in the session “Origins, Formation and Dynamical Systems”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Solar Occultation Observations of Saturn’s Rings with Cassini UVIS

We present an overview of the 41 solar occultations of Saturn’s rings observed by the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft. The UVIS Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) channel observed these occultations with spectra recorded from 56 to 118 nm, typical spectral resolution of 0.1 nm, and typical spatial resolution of 600 km. These solar occultations complement the set of stellar occultations measured by the broadband UVIS High Speed Photometer (HSP) at 110-190 nm. Prior studies have used the solar occultation data of the F ring in conjunction with Cassini images to constrain the abundance of small particles released in major collisional events in the ring (Becker et al. 2018, Icarus, 306, 171-199). Here we provide a uniform calibration of all the solar occultation data across the full ring system. We have compiled complete catalogs of the occultations as high-level data products delivered to the Planetary Data System (PDS) Ring Moon Systems Node. We present a subset of these data products highlighting their value for analysis of Saturn’s rings including light curves and optical depth profiles as functions of ring radius, optical depths at various ring locations combined with stellar occultation optical depths, and light curve and normal optical depth profiles at different wavelengths.

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