Report

Detection of Centimeter-Sized Meteoroid Impact Events in Saturn's F Ring

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5391, pp. 1099-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5391.1099

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Voyager images reveal that three prominent clumps in Saturn's F ring were short-lived, appearing rapidly and then spreading and decaying in brightness over periods of ∼2 weeks. These features arise from hypervelocity impacts by ∼10-centimeter meteoroids into F ring bodies. Future ring observations of these impact events could constrain the centimeter-sized component of the meteoroid population, which is otherwise unmeasurable but plays an important role in the evolution of rings and surfaces in the outer solar system. The F ring's numerous other clumps are much longer lived and appear to be unrelated to impacts.

View Full Text