31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 44. Rings II
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Thursday, October 14, 1999, 10:30am-12:00noon, Sala Kursaal

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[44.09] Influence of the Initial Motion of Ejecta and of Plasma Drag on the Shape of Saturn's E Ring

K. U. Thiessenhusen, F. Spahn, J. Schmidt (Universit\"at Potsdam, Germany), A. Krivov (Max-Planck-Institut f\"ur Aeronomie, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany and St. Petersburg University, Russia)

Saturn's E ring consists mostly of micron sized particles ejected from the surface of the moon Enceladus. Their long-term evolution is mainly determined by Saturn's gravity, electromagnetic forces and radiation pressure. We studied the influence of additional forces, e.g., plasma drag as well as the influence of the initial motion of the particles on their long--term evolution.

The most of the observed E ring features can be explained by the inclusion of these two effects in the existing models for the dynamics of the ring particles. The initial motion of particles ejected from Enceladus causes a vertical ring extension in good accordance with the observed ring height profile. Plasma drag and an ejection of dust preferentially in the direction of Enceladus' motion lead to a radially asymmetric density profile of the ring, also in qualitative agreement with the observations.

This work has been supported by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-- und Raumfahrt (DLR).

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kai@agnld.uni-potsdam.de

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