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

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[11.01 I] Dynamics of Narrow Planetary Rings

E. Chiang (UC Berkeley)

Planetary rings showcase a rich interplay of forces due to interparticle collisions, self-gravity, and the gravity of shepherd moons. They present miniature versions of phenomena thought to occur in protoplanetary disks: viscous dissipation, the clearing of annular gaps by large bodies, and migration and eccentricity evolution. I will focus on one longstanding problem in ring dynamics, that of apsidal alignment: how an eccentric ring precesses about the central planet as if it were a rigid body. I will demonstrate how forces due to collisions, self-gravity, and the quadrupole field of the central planet can be balanced to produce ring surface densities that agree with observations.

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