Composition of Saturnian Stream Particles

Kempf, Sascha; Srama, Ralf; Postberg, Frank; Burton, Marcia; Green, Simon F.; Helfert, Stefan; Hillier, Jon K.; McBride, Neil; McDonnell, J. Anthony M.; Moragas-Klostermeyer, Georg; Roy, Mou and Grun, Eberhard (2005). Composition of Saturnian Stream Particles. Science, 307(5713) pp. 1274–1276.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1106218

Abstract

During Cassini's approach to Saturn, the Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) discovered streams of tiny (less than 20 nanometers) high-velocity (100 kilometers per second) dust particles escaping from the saturnian system. A fraction of these impactors originated from the outskirts of Saturn's dense A ring. The CDA time-of-flight mass spectrometer recorded 584 mass spectra from the stream particles. The particles consist predominantly of oxygen, silicon, and iron, with some evidence of water ice, ammonium, and perhaps carbon. The stream particles primarily consist of silicate materials, and this implies that the particles are impurities from the icy ring material rather than the ice particles themselves.

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