Measurement and implications of Saturn’s gravity field and ring mass

  title={Measurement and implications of Saturn’s gravity field and ring mass},
  author={Luciano Iess and Burkhard Militzer and Yohai Kaspi and Phil D. Nicholson and Daniele Durante and Paolo Racioppa and A. Anabtawi and Eli Galanti and W Hubbard and M J Mariani and Paolo Tortora and S. Wahl and Marco Zannoni},
Cassini's last look at Saturn's rings During the final stages of the Cassini mission, the spacecraft flew between the planet and its rings, providing a new view on this spectacular system (see the Perspective by Ida). Setting the scene, Spilker reviews the numerous discoveries made using Cassini during the 13 years it spent orbiting Saturn. Iess et al. measured the gravitational pull on Cassini, separating the contributions from the planet and the rings. This allowed them to determine the… Expand
Cassini-Huygens’ exploration of the Saturn system: 13 years of discovery
The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn provided a close-up study of the gas giant planet, as well as its rings, moons, and magnetosphere, and results show that Saturn's rings are substantially younger than the planet itself and constrain models of their origin. Expand
Close-range remote sensing of Saturn’s rings during Cassini’s ring-grazing orbits and Grand Finale
This work finds structures related to the detailed sculpting of rings by embedded masses, including structures near the moon Daphnis that have apparently experienced markedly different perturbations compared to the surrounding ring material, and complex structure elements within the largest propeller-shaped disturbances. Expand
The origin of Saturn's rings and moons
  • S. Ida
  • Medicine, Physics
  • Science
  • 2019
Results from the Cassini mission's ring-grazing orbit and Grand Finale observations are reported, which reveal the detailed structure of the rings and associated moons and strongly suggest that Saturn's rings are much younger than Saturn itself and provide important clues to the origin of the Rings and moons. Expand
Cassini Exploration of the Planet Saturn: A Comprehensive Review
Before Cassini, scientists viewed Saturn’s unique features only from Earth and from three spacecraft flying by. During more than a decade orbiting the gas giant, Cassini studied the planet from itsExpand
Are Saturn’s rings actually young?
Spectacular results from Cassini’s Grand Finale have provided constraints on the characteristics and evolutionary processes of Saturn’s rings. These results have been interpreted as proof that theExpand
Understanding Saturn’s interior from the Cassini Grand Finale gravity measurements
  • D. Ni
  • Physics
  • Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 2020
Context. Measurements of Saturn’s gravity field by Cassini Grand Finale have been acquired with high precision. It has been demonstrated that the even gravitational harmonics J6–J10 have largerExpand
Orbital evolution of Saturn’s satellites due to the interaction between the moons and the massive rings
Context. Saturn’s mid-sized moons (satellites) have a puzzling orbital configuration with trapping in mean-motion resonances with every-other pairs (Mimas-Tethys 4:2 and Enceladus-Dione 2:1). ToExpand
Saturn's Deep Atmospheric Flows Revealed by the Cassini Grand Finale Gravity Measurements
How deep do Saturn's zonal winds penetrate below the cloud-level has been a decades-long question, with important implications not only for the atmospheric dynamics, but also for the interior densityExpand
Saturn's Rings as a Seismograph to Probe Saturn's Internal Structure
As it has already done for Earth, the sun, and the stars, seismology has the potential to radically change the way the interiors of giant planets are studied. In a sequence of events foreseen by onlyExpand
A diffuse core in Saturn revealed by ring seismology
The best constraints on the internal structures of giant planets have historically come from measurements of their gravity fields[1, 2, 31]. These gravity data are inherently mostly sensitive to aExpand


Chemical interactions between Saturn’s atmosphere and its rings
The Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measured the composition of Saturn’s upper atmosphere and its chemical interactions with material originating in the rings, finding a large mass of infalling material that has implications for ring evolution. Expand
Exposure age of Saturn's A and B rings, and the Cassini Division as suggested by their non-icy material content
Abstract Saturn's rings are composed primarily of water ice with a small fraction of non-icy constituents that are likely both intrinsic and extrinsic in origin. The intrinsic material is thought toExpand
A recent cometary origin for Saturn's rings?
Gravitational torques and erosion by micrometeoroids may cause rapid evolution of Saturn's rings, possibly suggesting formation of the rings within the last 108 years. Optically thin and/or narrowExpand
The recent formation of Saturn's moonlets from viscous spreading of the main rings
A hybrid simulation is reported in which the viscous spreading of Saturn’s rings beyond the Roche limit (the distance beyond which the rings are gravitationally unstable) gives rise to the small moons. Expand
Origin and Evolution of Saturn's Ring System
The origin and long-term evolution of Saturn's rings is still an unsolved problem in modern planetary science. In this chapter we review the current state of our knowledge on this long-standingExpand
New constraints on Saturn’s interior from Cassini astrometric data
Using astrometric observations spanning more than a century and including a large set of Cassini data, we determine Saturn's tidal parameters through their current effects on the orbits of the eightExpand
The Tides of Titan
Gravity data from six flybys of Saturn's moon, Titan, by the Cassini spacecraft suggest that Titan's interior is flexible on tidal time scales with the magnitude of the observed tidal deformations being consistent with the existence of a global subsurface water ocean. Expand
The structure of Saturn's rings: Implications from the Voyager stellar occultation
The Voyager 2 photopolarimeter observed the star δ Scorpii as it was occulted by Saturn's rings, giving ∼ 100 m resolution in the radial direction across the entire ring system. Radial structure canExpand
Interior Models of Saturn: Including the Uncertainties in Shape and Rotation
The accurate determination of Saturn's gravitational coefficients by Cassini could provide tighter constraints on Saturn's internal structure. Also, occultation measurements provide importantExpand
Noncircular features in Saturn's rings IV: Absolute radius scale and Saturn's pole direction
Abstract We present a comprehensive solution for the geometry of Saturn’s ring system, based on orbital fits to an extensive set of occultation observations of 122 individual ring edges and gaps. WeExpand