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Maintaining Small Body Rings Outside the Roche Limit with a Single Shepherd

Presentation #110.04 in the session Many Planets, More Rings Posters (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Maintaining Small Body Rings Outside the Roche Limit with a Single Shepherd

We have previously reported numerical simulations that indicate narrow rings around small bodies can be confined by a single shepherd that is a few kilometers in size and is located in a mean-motion resonance with the rings. For much of the likely physical parameter space, the rings discovered around small bodies are outside the classical Roche limit. In more recent simulations, we find that the high-density regions created by the moon wakes can facilitate the accretion of ring particles into moonlets; however, the stability of those moonlets depends on the physical properties of the ring particles and the dissipativity of their collisions. We present simulations studying accretion and disruption of moonlets in these systems and describe future work to sample the parameter space of ring-particle properties. These simulations involve a few million particles (~1 m radius) in a local cell with a radial and azimuthal extent that matches the observed ring width of 7 km. This provides sufficient resolution to explore the collective dynamics of the ring material and its interactions with the perturbing moon.

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