Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Effects of Wakes on Dense Planetary Rings

Dynamics of Self-Gravity Wakes in Dense Planetary Rings I. Pitch Angle


Michikoshi et al


We investigate the dynamics of self-gravity wakes in dense planetary rings. In particular, we examine how the pitch angle of self-gravity wakes depend on ring parameters using N-body simulations. We calculate the pitch angles using the two-dimensional autocorrelation function of the ring surface density. We obtain the pitch angles for the inner and outer parts of the autocorrelation function separately. We confirm that the pitch angles are 15 to 30 degrees for reasonable ring parameters, which are consistent with previous studies. We find that the inner pitch angle increases with the Saturnicentric distance, while it barely depends on the optical depth and the restitution coefficient of ring particles. The increase of the inner pitch angle with the Saturnicentric distance is consistent with the observations of the A ring. The outer pitch angle does not have the clear dependence on any ring parameters and is about 10 - 15 degrees. This value is consistent with the pitch angle of spiral arms in collisionless systems.

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