37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 64 Planetary Rings II
Oral, Friday, September 9, 2005, 11:00am-12:30pm, Music Concert Hall

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[64.05] Saturn's F ring and its retinue

C.D. Murray, M.W. Evans, N. Cooper, K. Beurle (QMUL), J.A. Burns (Cornell), J. Spitale, C.C. Porco (SSI)

In 2004 the Cassini ISS cameras discovered three new objects orbiting in the vicinity of Saturn's F ring (IAUC 8401, IAUC 8432). S/2004 S 3 was detected in images of the right ansa taken on 21 June and appeared to be skirting the outer edge of the F ring region. S/2004 S 4 was seen at the left ansa on the same day but located in one of the F ring's inner strands. On 28 October 2004 S/2004 S 6 was detected in high phase angle images orbiting at the inner edge of the F ring region. The core and several strands of the F ring have continued to display a wide variety of unusual structures, some of which are difficult to assign to the gravitational interaction with Prometheus alone. Here we report on the latest observations of the F ring and attempt to make sense of the structures and objects that have been detected.

This research is funded by PPARC and NASA.

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