skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: TRACKING THE GEYSERS OF ENCELADUS INTO SATURN’S E RING

Abstract

We examine Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem images of the E ring taken over a period of almost 7 yr, from 2006 September to 2013 July, in which long, sinuous structures dubbed tendrils are present. We model these structures by numerically integrating the trajectories of particles launched from the sources of the most active geysers recently located along the four main fractures crossing the south polar terrain of the moon, and producing from these integrations synthetic images that we then compare to the real ones. We include the effects of charging and the electromagnetic forces on the particles in addition to the gravity of Saturn and Enceladus. We demonstrate that these structures are produced by the highest velocity particles erupting from the most active geysers and entering Saturn’s orbit, and not perturbations of E ring particles by Enceladus. The detailed structures of the tendrils change with the orbital position of Enceladus, a finding likely to be the result of the diurnal variability in the source activity.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations, 4750 Walnut Street Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States)
  2. Saint Martin's University, Lacey, WA 98503 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22520236
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astronomical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 149; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1538-3881
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS; FRACTURES; GEYSERS; GEYSERS GEOTHERMAL FIELD; GRAVITATION; MOON; ORBITS; SATURN PLANET; TRAJECTORIES; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Mitchell, C. J., Porco, C. C., and Weiss, J. W. TRACKING THE GEYSERS OF ENCELADUS INTO SATURN’S E RING. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/149/5/156.
Mitchell, C. J., Porco, C. C., & Weiss, J. W. TRACKING THE GEYSERS OF ENCELADUS INTO SATURN’S E RING. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/149/5/156.
Mitchell, C. J., Porco, C. C., and Weiss, J. W. Fri . "TRACKING THE GEYSERS OF ENCELADUS INTO SATURN’S E RING". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/149/5/156.
@article{osti_22520236,
title = {TRACKING THE GEYSERS OF ENCELADUS INTO SATURN’S E RING},
author = {Mitchell, C. J. and Porco, C. C. and Weiss, J. W.},
abstractNote = {We examine Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem images of the E ring taken over a period of almost 7 yr, from 2006 September to 2013 July, in which long, sinuous structures dubbed tendrils are present. We model these structures by numerically integrating the trajectories of particles launched from the sources of the most active geysers recently located along the four main fractures crossing the south polar terrain of the moon, and producing from these integrations synthetic images that we then compare to the real ones. We include the effects of charging and the electromagnetic forces on the particles in addition to the gravity of Saturn and Enceladus. We demonstrate that these structures are produced by the highest velocity particles erupting from the most active geysers and entering Saturn’s orbit, and not perturbations of E ring particles by Enceladus. The detailed structures of the tendrils change with the orbital position of Enceladus, a finding likely to be the result of the diurnal variability in the source activity.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-6256/149/5/156},
journal = {Astronomical Journal (Online)},
issn = {1538-3881},
number = 5,
volume = 149,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {5}
}