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Boomerang, Slingshot, or Torque-Dependent? How to Classify Your Favorite Ring-Satellite System

16 Jan 2020, 17:19 UTC
Boomerang, Slingshot, or Torque-Dependent? How to Classify Your Favorite Ring-Satellite System
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Title: Three Dynamical Evolution Regimes for Coupled Ring-satellite Systems and Implications for the Formation of the Uranian Satellite MirandaAuthors: Andrew J. Hesselbrock and David A. MintonFirst Author’s Institution: Purdue UniversityStatus: Published in The Astronomical Journal [open access] The number of known ring-bearing objects in the solar system continues to expand. Once limited to Saturn, the list added all four giant planets in the 1970s and 80s. More recently, stellar occultation observations have found rings around minor planets Chariklo, Chiron, and Haumea. Unlike moons, most ring systems are never alone. The existence of satellites and rings alongside one another creates complex dynamics that shape the course of evolution for both objects. Beyond that, there are outside influences, such as close encounters with scattered Kuiper Belt objects (which happened to Neptune) or giant impacts (which happened to Earth) that vastly increase the number of possible evolution tracks. The authors of this paper designed a generalized model of ring and satellite co-evolution designed to be simple to comprehend and applicable to the solar system.
Know Your LimitsThere are four primary boundaries for every satellite in orbit. What happens when satellites interact with these boundaries determines much of the way the system will evolve. ...

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