Science Seminars

4/8/2010 – The F ring: One of Saturn’s most puzzling rings

Speaker: Nicole Albers (LASP)
Date: Thursday, Apr 08, 2010
Time: 4:00pm
Location: Duane

Seminar Abstract:

Since the discovery of the F ring by Pioneer 11 it has been known as one of the most dynamic planetary rings in the Solar system. Located just outside Saturn’s main rings with its orbit right between those of the two shepherding moons Prometheus and Pandora, it is divided into the dense F ring core and more tenuous strands that seemingly wind themselves like a spiral. It’s location on the edge of the planet’s Roche zone suggests that processes of active aggregation and disaggregation could be present. While the Voyager missions provided initial support for the existence of a collision-dominated moonlet belt, latest Cassini observations have added a lot more detail to this picture. I will present an overview of the current understanding of the F ring and discuss recent results obtained using Cassini UVIS data.

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