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Close-range remote sensing of Saturn’s rings during Cassini’s ring-grazing orbits and Grand Finale

Abstract : Saturn's rings are an accessible exemplar of an astrophysical disk, tracing the Saturn system's dynamical processes and history. We present close-range remote-sensing observations of the main rings from the Cassini spacecraft. We find detailed sculpting of the rings by embedded masses, and banded texture belts throughout the rings. Saturn-orbiting streams of material impact the F ring. There are fine-scaled correlations among optical depth, spectral properties, and temperature in the B ring, but anticorrelations within strong density waves in the A ring. There is no spectral distinction between plateaux and the rest of the C ring, whereas the region outward of the Keeler gap is spectrally distinct from nearby regions. These results likely indicate that radial stratification of particle physical properties, rather than compositional differences, is responsible for producing these ring structures
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Matthew Tiscareno, Philip Nicholson, Jeffrey Cuzzi, Linda Spilker, Carl Murray, et al.. Close-range remote sensing of Saturn’s rings during Cassini’s ring-grazing orbits and Grand Finale. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019, 364 (6445), pp.eaau1017. ⟨10.1126/science.aau1017⟩. ⟨insu-02615445⟩

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