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Title: Exploring overstabilities in Saturn's a ring using two stellar occultations

Certain regions of Saturn's rings exhibit periodic opacity variations with characteristic radial wavelengths of up to a few hundred meters that have been attributed to viscous overstabilities. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on board the Cassini spacecraft observed two stellar occultations of the star γ Crucis that had sufficient resolution to discern a subset of these periodic patterns in a portion of the A ring between 124,000 and 125,000 km from Saturn's center. These data reveal that the wavelengths and intensities of the patterns vary systematically across this region, but that these parameters are not strictly determined by the ring's average optical depth. Furthermore, our observations indicate that these opacity variations have an azimuthal coherence scale of around 3000 km.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics, University of Oulu, Oulu (Finland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22342300
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 148; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ECLIPSE; MAPPING; OPACITY; PERIODICITY; RESOLUTION; SATELLITES; SATURN PLANET; SPECTROMETERS; STARS; WAVELENGTHS