37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 61 Planetary Rings
Poster, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Lecture Room 5

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[61.06] Small Satellites Embedded in Dense Planetary Rings

J.M. Hahn (Saint Mary's University)

A small satellite that inhabits a narrow gap in an dense planetary ring, such as Pan, will excite wakes at the gap edges, as well as spiral waves deeper in the ring. As the satellite disturbs the ring, it also draws angular momentum from the ring matter that orbits just interior to the satellite, while depositing that angular momentum among the ring particles that orbit just exterior. This outward transport of angular momentum causes the orbits of the nearby ring particles to slowly shrink, dragging along with them the satellite in its gap. This inward motion is of course type II migration that is familiar from planet formation theory. The significance of type II migration, if any, will also be assessed for the small satellites that orbit within Saturn's rings.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.