CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2005
 26 May 2005

26 May 2005

Speaker: Richard French (Whitin Observatory, Wellesley College)

Title: Saturn's Rings in the Cassini Era

Abstract: Saturn's spectacular ring system, with its retinue of small moons, is host to a remarkably diverse range of dynamical phenomena. Spiral density waves provide telltale signatures of gravitational interactions with satellites, wispy trailing wakes mark the frustrated attempts of ring particles to accrete n the presence of tidal forces, and baffling structures in Saturn's densest ring are yet to be understood. Earthbased observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and from the Arecibo planetary radar facility, combined with the flood of new data from the Cassini spacecraft now in orbit around Saturn, are revealing the structure and dynamics of Saturn's rings and moons in amazing detail. A survey of the newest results will be presented, as well as plans for the next few years of the Cassini mission, with an emphasis on the unifying physical principles.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )

References for students:


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