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JWST observations of Saturn’s rings and moons

Presentation #112.09 in the session Many Planets, More Rings (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
JWST observations of Saturn’s rings and moons

We obtained images and spectra of the Saturn system using three JWST instruments: NIRCam, NIRSpec, and MIRI. We obtained 1) NIRCam deep exposures intended to search for undiscovered moons; 2) a NIRCam context image at 3.23 microns (see link below) showing previously known moon and ring structures as well as a planet darkened by methane absorption, such that the planet is characterized not by its familiar latitudinal bands but by dark and diffuse structures associated with high-altitude stratospheric aerosols; 3) NIRSpec spectra of the moons Pandora, Epimetheus, Pallene, and Telesto between 1 and 5 microns, all of which show clear water-ice absorption features that indicate the presence of either amorphous or extremely fine-grained crystalline ice; and 4) MIRI and NIRSpec spectra of Saturn’s main rings, which indicate that the rings are strongly dominated by crystalline water ice and also confirms previous (Clark et al. 2019, Icarus) reports of a O-D band at 4.13 microns with a depth of 2% to 3%. 4) MIRI and NIRSpec spectra of Saturn’s main rings, which are strongly dominated by crystalline water ice features between 2.7 and 10 microns, and also confirm Clark et al.’s (2019, Icarus) detection of a O-D band at 4.13 microns with a depth of 2% to 3%. We will present the latest results of our analysis of this data set.

https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/images/01H3X9BMPCX165ZK9RA49J2416.

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