Journal Article

Ringlet—satellite interactions

F. Namouni

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 300, issue 3, pages 915-930
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Ringlet—satellite interactions

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We study the interaction of a satellite and a nearby ringlet on eccentric and inclined orbits. Secular torques originate from mean motion resonances and the secular interaction potential which represents the m = 1 global modes of the ring. The torques act on the relative eccentricity and inclination.

The resonances damp the relative eccentricity. The inclination instability owing to the resonances is turned off by a finite differential eccentricity of the order of 0.27 for nearly coplanar systems. The secular potential torque damps the eccentricity and inclination and does not affect the relative semi-major axis; also, it suppresses the inclination instability that persists at small differential eccentricities.

The damping of the relative eccentricity and inclination forces an initially circular and planar small mass ringlet to reach the eccentricity and inclination of the satellite. When the planet is oblate, the interaction of the satellite damps the proper precession of a small mass ringlet so that it precesses at the satellite's rate independently of their relative distance. The oblateness of the primary modifies the long-term eccentricity and inclination magnitudes and introduces a constant shift in the apsidal and nodal lines of the ringlet with respect to those of the satellite. These results are applied to Saturn's F-ring, which orbits between the moons Prometheus and Pandora.

Keywords: diffusion; instabilities; celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics; planets and satellites: individual: Prometheus; planets and satellites: individual: Pandora; planets and satellites: individual: Saturn's F-ring

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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