36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 24 Icy Satellites
Oral, Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 1:30-3:00pm, Lewis

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[24.08] Cassini ISS Satellite Orbit Results

J.N. Spitale (SSI), R. A. Jacobson (JPL), C.C. Porco (SSI), W.M. Owen (JPL), S. Charnoz (Univ. Paris), C. D. Murray (Queen Mary Univ.), A. Brahic (Univ. Paris), M. W. Evans, K. Beurle, N. Cooper (Queen Mary Univ.), Cassini Imaging Team

We report on the orbits of several small Saturnian satellites, either recovered or newly-discovered in recent Cassini imaging observations. The mean motions of Pan and Atlas have been corrected based on recent Cassini imaging combined with Voyager observations. Two small satellites, S/2004 S 1 and S/2004 S 2, have been discovered between the orbits of Mimas and Enceladus on orbits that are nearly circular and uninclined. Both bodies were observed for a fraction of one orbit on June 1, 2004 and S/2004 S 1 was subsequently detected in images shuttered three weeks earlier. Those bodies may be recovered in late October in imaging sequences designed for that purpose. A third new object was detected in images from June 21, 2004, orbiting just outside the F ring. However, a search for additional detections revealed something orbiting interior to the F ring near the longitude at which the new object would be expected 5 hours later. A low-residual orbit that crosses the F ring has been found to explain all of the observations, but it is not yet clear whether the two sequences imaged the same object or two different objects that coincidentally were found orbiting at the same longitude but at different orbital semimajor axes. These issues make its nature -- solid satellite or F ring clump -- unclear. The data, fitting procedures, and results will be discussed.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.