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Title: Collisional disruption of gravitational aggregates in the tidal environment

The degree of disruption in collisions in free space is determined by specific impact energy, and the mass fraction of the largest remnant is a monotonically decreasing function of impact energy. However, it has not been shown whether such a relationship is applicable to collisions under the influence of a planet's tidal force, which is important in ring dynamics and satellite accretion. Here we examine the collisional disruption of gravitational aggregates in the tidal environment by using local N-body simulations. We find that outcomes of such a collision largely depend on the impact velocity, the direction of impact, and the radial distance from the planet. In the case of a strong tidal field corresponding to Saturn's F ring, collisions in the azimuthal direction are much more destructive than those in the radial direction. Numerical results of collisions sensitively depend on the impact velocity, and a complete disruption of aggregates can occur even in impacts with velocity much lower than their escape velocity. In such low-velocity collisions, the deformation of colliding aggregates plays an essential role in determining collision outcomes, because the physical size of the aggregate is comparable to its Hill radius. On the other hand, the dependence of collisionmore » outcomes on impact velocity becomes similar to the case in free space when the distance from the planet is sufficiently large. Our results are consistent with Cassini observations of the F ring, which suggest ongoing creation and disruption of aggregates within the ring.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kobe University, Kobe 657-8501 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356856
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 787; 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; COLLISIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DEFORMATION; DISTANCE; EVOLUTION; MASS; SATELLITES; SATURN PLANET; SIMULATION; SPACE; STABILITY; VELOCITY