Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2013

Abstract

Stellar occultations observed by the Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph reveal the presence of transparent holes a few meters to a few tens of meters in radial extent in otherwise optically thick regions of the C ring and the Cassini Division. We attribute the holes to gravitational disturbances generated by a population of ~10 m boulders in the rings that is intermediate in size between the background ring particle size distribution and the previously observed ~100 m propeller moonlets in the A ring. The size distribution of these boulders is described by a shallower power-law than the one that describes the ring particle size distribution. The number and size distribution of these boulders could be explained by limited accretion processes deep within Saturn's Roche zone.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1088/0004-6256/145/6/171

Publisher

Institute of Physics Publishing

Publication Information

Astronomical Journal, Article number 171

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