Effects of immersed moonlets in the ring arc particles of Saturn

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Ring arcs are the result of particles in corotation resonances with nearby satellites. Arcs are present in Saturn and Neptune systems, in Saturn they are also associated with small satellites immersed on them. The satellite Aegaeon is immersed in the G ring arc, and the satellites Anthe and Methone are embedded in arcs named after them. Since most of the population of the arcs is formed by μm-sized particles the dissipative effects, such as the plasma drag and the solar radiation force, decrease the lifetime of the arcs. We analysed the effects of the immersed satellites on these arcs by computing the mass production rate and the perturbation caused by them in the arc particles. By comparing the lifetime of the particles and the mass production rate we concluded that Aegaeon, Anthe and Methone did not act as sources for their arcs. We took a step further by analysing a hypothetical scenario formed by an immersed moonlet of different sizes. As a result we found that regardless of the size of the hypothetical moonlet (from about 0.10 km–4.0 km) these moonlets will not act as a source. These arcs are temporary structures and they will disappear in a very short period of time.



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European Physical Journal: Special Topics, v. 229, n. 8, p. 1527-1543, 2020.