Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Colloquium

Monday, October 17, 2022 at 12:15-1:15PM

JILA Auditorium

Larry Esposito, LASP & APS

"Saturn’s Rings: Implications for Structure, Dynamics and Origins"

A Pretty Image from the Talk


"The planned speaker for 17 October was to be Néstor Espinoza (STScI), but unfortunately it has been necessary to defer his colloquium to later in the semester, 28 November. We are grateful to Larry Esposito for volunteering to fill the 17 Oct slot at short notice."


Saturn ring occultation statistics from Cassini give the size and shape of ring particles, clumps and gaps in Saturn's rings. Statistics of UVIS star occultations measure structures as small as meters, on times scales of minutes to decades. Our results are consistent with a simple dynamical model of the rings, analogous to an ecological Predator-Prey interaction. Perturbed by passing density waves, self- gravity wakes grow and erode on orbital timescales. Similar resonant perturbations may trigger planet growth in a debris disk.


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