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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[24.07] Satellite search with Cassini

S. Charnoz (Université Paris 7), J. Spitale (University of Arizona), C. C. Porco (Space Science Institute), A. Brahic (Université Paris 7), L. Dones (SWRI), J. A. Burns (Cornell University), C. Murray (Queen Mary, Univ. of London), Cassini Imaging Team

We report the result of a systematic search for new satellites around Saturn in Cassini images. From february to august 2004 about 800 images designed for the search of satellites has been taken in various filters and long exposure times to reveal faint features. This work required the conception of a new code designed to look for PSF in multiple images and that recursively finds combinations of PSF laying on a keplerian orbit. Mutiple test shown that the procedure is reliable with more than 90 satellites: very small moons like Atlas were recovered even in fully automatic mode. Two new satellites were found between Mimas and Enceladus, provisionally named S/2004 S1 and S/2004 S2 . They are on almost circular and non-inclined orbit, with respective semi-major axes ~194000 km and ~211000 km. Their magnitudes and assumed albedos make them among the smallest objects ever detected around Saturn. We will also present and discuss about the regions in which the search for new satellites gave no result, as well as stability analysis of the orbits to infer the longevity of S1 and S2.

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