AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 63. Solar System
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[63.06] Discovered Saturnian and undiscovered Neptunian retrograde satellites.

N.N. Gorkavyi, T.A. Taidakova (Schafer Corp.)

We have investigated the origin of outer satellites of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune by numerical modeling (Gorkavyi,Taidakova, 1995, Astron.Letter, 21(6), 939). Based on our Saturn-2 model, we predicted "that the outermost group of not yet discovered retrograde satellites with semimajor axes of the orbits in the range a=(24-31)106 km (with a=(25-26)106 km being the most probable value...) may exist near Saturn. By their sizes, orbital properties, and origin, they must be analogs of Jupiter's retrograde satellites - Pasiphae group." As well known, 12 new Saturnian satellites was discovered by Gladman,Burns, Nicholson, Petit, Scholl, Kavelaars, Holman & Marsden (2000), including the outermost group of retrograde satellites with a=20.3, 23.1, 26.0 (x106) km (see B. Marsden, Minor Planet Circulars 2000, 41718-41719). It is a very strong evidence that the formation of irregular satellites is not really stochastic. Our modeling show that irregular satellites were captured into the most probable orbits. Our simulation (see Fig.2 in GT, 1995) also shows areas of prograde satellites around orbit of retrograde Phoebe, which agree with new discoveries.

From our modeling we expect a large group of small retrograde Neptunian satellites beyond the orbit of Triton (> 0.5*106 km, see Fig.5,6 in GT, 1995). Nereid is probably the largest member of family of prograde satellites mixed with more numerous family of smaller retrograde satellites.

There are other possible predictions from GT, 1995:

- a local group of small retrograde saturnian satellites beyond Iapetus at the distance 5.5-6.0 (x106) km (see Fig.2 from GT, 1995);

- a local group of small retrograde jovian satellites between the Galilean satellites and the Himalia group near the distance 7-8 (x106) km (see Fig.1 from GT, 1995).

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ngorkavyi@schaferdc.com

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