Cassini images of Saturn's small inner satellites (radii of less than approximately 100 kilometers) have yielded their sizes, shapes, and in some cases, topographies and mean densities. This information and numerical N-body simulations of accretionary growth have provided clues to their internal structures and origins. The innermost ring-region satellites have likely grown to the maximum sizes possible by accreting material around a dense core about one-third to one-half the present size of the moon. The other small satellites outside the ring region either may be close to monolithic collisional shards, modified to varying degrees by accretion, or may have grown by accretion without the aid of a core. We derived viscosity values of 87 and 20 square centimeters per second, respectively, for the ring material surrounding ring-embedded Pan and Daphnis. These moons almost certainly opened their respective gaps and then grew to their present size early on, when the local ring environment was thicker than it is today.
Cassini Imaging Science: Initial Results on Saturn's Rings and Small SatellitesCC Porco et al. Science 307 (5713), 1226-36. PMID 15731439.Images acquired of Saturn's rings and small moons by the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) during the first 9 months of Cassini operations at Saturn have produced m …
The Equatorial Ridges of Pan and Atlas: Terminal Accretionary Ornaments?S Charnoz et al. Science 318 (5856), 1622-4. PMID 18063797.In the outer regions of Saturn's main rings, strong tidal forces balance gravitational accretion processes. Thus, unusual phenomena may be expected there. The Cassini spa …
Close Cassini Flybys of Saturn's Ring Moons Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora, and EpimetheusBJ Buratti et al. Science 364 (6445). PMID 30923171.Saturn's main ring system is associated with a set of small moons that either are embedded within it or interact with the rings to alter their shape and composition. Five …
100-metre-diameter Moonlets in Saturn's A Ring From Observations of 'Propeller' StructuresMS Tiscareno et al. Nature 440 (7084), 648-50. PMID 16572165.Saturn's main rings are composed predominantly of water-ice particles ranging between about 1 centimetre and 10 metres in radius. Above this size range, the number of par …
Origin of Saturn's Rings and Inner Moons by Mass Removal From a Lost Titan-sized SatelliteRM Canup. Nature 468 (7326), 943-6. PMID 21151108.The origin of Saturn's rings has not been adequately explained. The current rings are more than 90 to 95 per cent water ice, which implies that initially they were almost …
Cited by 2 PubMed Central articles
The Recent Formation of Saturn's Moonlets From Viscous Spreading of the Main RingsS Charnoz et al. Nature 465 (7299), 752-4. PMID 20535205.The regular satellites of the giant planets are believed to have finished their accretion concurrent with the planets, about 4.5 Gyr ago. A population of Saturn's small m …
Planetary Science: The Birth of Saturn's Baby MoonsJA Burns. Nature 465 (7299), 701-2. PMID 20535196.