Math. Model. Nat. Phenom.
Volume 6, Number 4, 2011Granular hydrodynamics
|191 - 218
|18 July 2011
Hydrodynamics of Saturn’s Dense Rings
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Potsdam, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
⋆ Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com
The space missions Voyager and Cassini together with earthbound observations revealed a wealth of structures in Saturn’s rings. There are, for example, waves being excited at ring positions which are in orbital resonance with Saturn’s moons. Other structures can be assigned to embedded moons like empty gaps, moon induced wakes or S-shaped propeller features. Furthermore, irregular radial structures are observed in the range from 10 meters until kilometers. Here some of these structures will be discussed in the frame of hydrodynamical modeling of Saturn’s dense rings. For this purpose we will characterize the physical properties of the ring particle ensemble by mean field quantities and point to the special behavior of the transport coefficients. We show that unperturbed rings can become unstable and how diffusion acts in the rings. Additionally, the alternative streamline formalism is introduced to describe perturbed regions of dense rings with applications to the wake damping and the dispersion relation of the density waves.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 35Q35 / 70F15 / 70F07
Key words: granular gas / instabilities / hydrodynamics / planetary rings
© EDP Sciences, 2011
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