37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 66 Planetary Rings III
Oral, Friday, September 9, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Music Concert Hall

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[66.05] Electro-static potential of E ring particles

S. Kempf, R. Srama (MPI fur Kernphysik, Germany), M. Horanyi (LASP Boulder, USA), CDA Science Team

Most of the peculiar properties of Saturn's vast E ring are most likely due to electromagnetic forces acting on the charged ring particles. Thus, knowledge of the radial dependence of the electro-static grain potential is of great importance for understanding the dynamics of the E ring.

The Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) on the Cassini spacecraft includes a charge detector which allows a reliable determination of the potential of individual dust grains. Here we report the first in-situ determination of the grain potential within Titan's orbit. Our results indicate that outside 8 Saturnian grains are on a positive potential of about 5V while in the vicinity of Saturn's moon Enceladus the grains have negative potentials ranging between -8 and -1 V.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.