DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 49. Rings Posters
Displayed, 1:00pm, Monday - 1:00pm, Friday, Highlighted Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6:30pm, C101-C105, C211

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[49.10] ``Fingerprints'' of the size-distribution in planetary rings

F. Spahn (Univ. Potsdam), M. Sremcevic (Univ. Belgrade)

We extend the Markov-model of gravitational scattering by moonlets in planetary rings to viscous diffusion. The latter process counteracts the generation of structures due to the larger ring-boulder. As a result two types of steady state patterns evolve: \, i) a ``propeller'' shaped structure for moonlets D < 1km in size \, ii) a circumferential gap (+ringlet) for larger moonlets. \, The radial and the azimuthal extent scale with the Diameter D of the moonlet [radial: \propto D (for D < 3 km in diameter) or \propto D2 (for D> 3 km); azimuthal: \propto D^3/\nu, \, with \nu - kinematic viscosity]. In this way the size distribution and also the viscous properties of the ring matter could be probed by the high resolution images of the Cassini spacecraft in the near future.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: frank@agnld.uni-potsdam.de

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