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The composition of Saturn’s E ring

Hillier, Jon K.; Green, S. F.; McBride, N.; Schwanethal, J. P.; Postberg, F.; Srama, R.; Kempf, S.; Moragas-Klostermeyer, G.; McDonnell, J. A M. and Grun, E. (2007). The composition of Saturn’s E ring. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 377(4) pp. 1588–1596.

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We present the first in situ direct measurement of the composition of particles in Saturn's rings. The Cassini cosmic dust analyser (CDA) measured the mass spectra of nearly 300 impacting dust particles during the 2004 October E ring crossing. An initial interpretation of the data shows that the particles are predominantly water ice, with minor contributions from possible combinations of silicates, carbon dioxide, ammonia, molecular nitrogen, hydrocarbons and perhaps carbon monoxide. This places constraints on both the composition of Enceladus, the main source of the E ring, as well as the grain formation mechanisms.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1365-2966
Keywords: planets; rings; planets and satellites; individual; Enceladus
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 7887
Depositing User: Kyra Proctor
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 10:01
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