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Ring Seismology of the Ice Giants Uranus and Neptune

Presentation #402.02 in the session Planetary Rings.

Published onApr 25, 2022
Ring Seismology of the Ice Giants Uranus and Neptune

We assess the prospect of using ring seismology to probe the interiors of the ice giants Uranus and Neptune. We do this by calculating normal mode spectra for different interior models of Uranus and Neptune using the stellar oscillation code GYRE. These spectra provide predictions of where in these planets’ ring systems the effects of interior oscillations might be detected. We find that f-mode resonances with azimuthal order m equal to 2 or between 7 and 19 fall among the inner rings (6, 5, 4, alpha, and beta) of Uranus. We also find that g-mode resonances may fall among the narrow rings of both planets. Although an orbiter is most likely required to confirm the association between any waves in the rings and planetary normal modes, the diversity of normal mode spectra implies that identification of just one or two modes in the rings of Uranus or Neptune would eliminate a variety of interior models, and thus aid in the interpretation of Voyager observations and future spacecraft measurements.

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