DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 17. Rings II
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Tuesday, October 13, 1998, 10:30-11:30am, Madison Ballroom C

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[17.02] Wavelike Features in Saturn's Cassini Division

L. J. Spilker (formerly Horn) (JPL/Caltech), M. R. Showalter (Stanford)

Saturnís Cassini Division contains a collection of wavelike features on a variety of spatial scales. We have detected a number of such features in the Voyager Radio Science (RSS) earth occultation data and Voyager Photopolarimeter (PPS) stellar occultation data of Saturnís Cassini Division. We used the same non-linear power spectral algorithm (Burg) that we successfully used to identify six previously unseen Pan wakes in the Voyager RSS and PPS occultation data (Horn, Showalter and Russell, 1996) and to characterize the spatial scales of irregular structure in Saturnís B ring (Horn and Cuzzi, 1996).

Some of the features we detected have characteristics which are similar to moonlet wakes. From our fit of an outer moonlet wake in the RSS data we determined a possible location for a previously undetected satellite. However, the Voyager cameras never imaged this radial/longitudinal sector of the Cassini Division with sufficient resolution to detect a small moon.

Other features are not fit well by moonlet wake or satellite wave models. One such feature resides around 118,500 km in the RSS data. If this feature represents an inner moonlet wake then a corresponding outer moonlet wake should also be present in the Cassini Division. No outer moonlet wake was detected in the RSS data over the appropriate set of radial distances. Two other such structures include the Cassini Division features detected by Marouf and Tyler (1986) in the RSS data and also detected in our analysis. Flynn and Cuzzi (1989) determined that these features were azimuthally symmetric in the Voyager images and were most likely not moonlet wakes. Some other mechanism may be responsible for these features. This work was performed at JPL/Caltech under contract with NASA.


The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Linda.J.Spilker@jpl.nasa.gov

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