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Journal Articles Icarus Year : 2020

Cassini INMS constraints on the composition and latitudinal fractionation of Saturn ring rain material

K. E. Miller
  • Function : Author
J. H. Waite
  • Function : Author
R. S. Perryman
  • Function : Author
M. E. Perry
  • Function : Author
B. A. Magee
  • Function : Author
B. Bolton
  • Function : Author
T. Brockwell
  • Function : Author
M. M. Hedman
  • Function : Author
C. R. Glein
  • Function : Author

Abstract

During Cassini's Grand Finale, the spacecraft flew between Saturn's upper atmosphere and its innermost ring, the D ring. Throughout these final orbits, Cassini encountered material flowing from the D ring into Saturn's atmosphere. Here, we present a compositional analysis of this material using data collected by Cassini's Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer. We confirm the identification of CH4, CO2, CO, N2, H2O, NH3, and organics in the ring material, and provide upper limits for organic compounds of interest. The H/C, O/C, N/C, and S/C ratios of ring material are constrained using three different kinds of model spectra: automated fits, hand fits of inorganics + hydrocarbons, and hand fits of inorganics + organics with priority given to O-, N-, and S-bearing organics. Additionally, we compare data from the final plunge to earlier orbits, and find that ring material can be divided into gas and dust constituents, with CO2 at the volatility boundary between the two phases. At increasing distance above the equatorial plane, the gas/dust molar ratio increases.
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Dates and versions

insu-03667121 , version 1 (13-05-2022)

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K. E. Miller, J. H. Waite, R. S. Perryman, M. E. Perry, A. Bouquet, et al.. Cassini INMS constraints on the composition and latitudinal fractionation of Saturn ring rain material. Icarus, 2020, 339, ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113595⟩. ⟨insu-03667121⟩
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