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S.M. Giuliatti Winter (UNESP-Guaratingueta-Brazil)
Observations from the Voyager spacecraft have shown that the narrow F ring of Saturn is composed of micrometer-sized particles that extend inward from the core (Showalter et al., Icarus, 1992; Graps et al., Icarus, 1984). These small particles can be disturbed by the effects of the Poynting-Robertson drag (PR drag), which cause their orbital decay.
The F ring particles are also perturbed by the nearby satellite Prometheus. The effects of the satellite are intensified during the closest approach with the ring particles. At this special configuration gaps are formed in the ring as result of scattering of particles in the direction of the planet (Giuliatti Winter et al., PSS, 2000).
In this work we analyze the effects of the PR drag combined with the perturbations of the satellite Prometheus. Our results show that depending on the initial conditions of the ring particles the satellite can avoid the orbital decay caused by the PR drag (Giuliatti Winter & Guimarães, 2000).
There are some resonance locations in the region between Prometheus and the F ring, some of them with the satellite Atlas (Giuliatti Winter, 1994). We also analyze the orbital evolution of a dust ring particle subjected to PR drag and Atlas perturbations.
Acknowledgement: SMGW (Proc. 99/11965) thanks FAPESP for the financial support.