DDA 33rd Meeting, Mt. Hood, OR, April 2002
Session 11. Rings
Tuesday, April 23, 2002, 3:00-4:00pm

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[11.03] The Effect of Perturbation Magnitude on Narrow Ring Formation

M. C. Lewis (Trinity University), G. R. Stewart (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics)

We have previously shown how the perturbations of a nearby moon can cause a broadly distributed sparse population of ring particles to become concentrated into narrow rings that not only form, but can also be maintained outside of resonance. We speculated that the separation between the final ringlets was largely determined by the magnitude of the forced eccentricities induced by the moon at closest approach. Here we present simulations where a variety of different moon masses are used to vary the magnitude of the forced eccentricity. We find that indeed the final spacing of the ringlets does increase as the moon mass in increased. In addition, these simulations show that the evolution path the system takes to forming the narrow rings is significantly altered. These alterations include changes in the timescales. All of the timescales observed for narrow ring formation are significantly shorter than what would be expected from standard theories of narrow ring formation where the driving force is torque from multiple passages by the moon. Initial rings form in under 2 synodic periods and the final state is typically reached in 10-20 synodic periods. These studies move us one step closer to understanding the significantly more complex system of Saturnís F ring where the perturbation magnitudes vary over short temporal and spatial scales due to the eccentricities of both the perturbing satellites and the ring itself.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mlewis@trinity.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3
© 2002. The American Astronomical Society.