31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 55. Dust and Rings Posters
Poster Group II, Thursday-Friday, October 14, 1999, , Kursaal Center

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[55.05] Dynamical and Photometric Modeling of Azimuthal Brightness Asymmetry in Saturn's Rings

H. Salo, R. Karjalainen (Univ. of Oulu)

Dynamical N-body simulations suggest the formation of trailing density enhancements in the outer portions of Saturn's rings, due local gravitational instabilities. These ``wakes'' have typical sizes in the range of 10 to 100 meters, with pitch angles about 20-25o with respect to tangential direction. The photometric implications of such wakes are studied via Monte Carlo method including multiple scattering. Comparison of simulations with the observed asymmetry in Saturn's A-ring yields good agreement for the variation of the brightness along the ring longitude. The radial dependency of the amplitude of asymmetry can be used to constrain the elasticity and internal density of ring particles.

This study is supported by the Academy of Finland.

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