Asset Publisher

The Equatorial Ridges of Pan and Atlas: Terminal Accretionary Ornaments?

The Equatorial Ridges of Pan and Atlas: Terminal Accretionary Ornaments?

Publication date: 07 December 2007

Authors: Charnoz, S. et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 318
Issue: 5856
Page: 1622-1624
Year: 2007

Copyright: American Association for the Advancement of Science

In the outer regions of Saturn's main rings, strong tidal forces balance gravitational accretion processes. Thus, unusual phenomena may be expected there. The Cassini spacecraft has recently revealed the strange "flying saucer" shape of two small satellites, Pan and Atlas, located in this region, showing prominent equatorial ridges. The accretion of ring particles onto the equatorial surfaces of already-formed bodies embedded in the rings may explain the formation of the ridges. This ridge formation process is in good agreement with detailed Cassini images showing differences between rough polar and smooth equatorial terrains. We propose that Pan and Atlas ridges are kilometers-thick "ring-particle piles" formed after the satellites themselves and after the flattening of the rings but before the complete depletion of ring material from their surroundings.

Link to publication
Last Update: Sep 1, 2019 8:45:14 AM
29-Sep-2022 17:32 UT

ShortUrl Portlet

Shortcut URL

https://sci.esa.int/s/wQd3LqA

Images And Videos

Related Publications

Related Links

See Also

Documentation