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Speaker

Britt Scharringhausen

Beloit College
Physics and Astronomy
608 363 2648
scharr@beloit.edu
Measuring the vertical structure of Saturn's F ring with Cassini
Saturn's F ring is a dynamic, complicated system consisting of a core and braided strands, which interact with the shepherd moons," Pandora and Prometheus. Bright clumps frequently appear in the F ring due to collisions between ring particles, with moonlets associated with the ring, and with meteoroids. When the Cassini spacecraft passes through the plane of Saturn's rings, the main rings are seen edge-on, and so are greatly reduced in brightness, and the F ring dominates the light reflected from the rings. By modeling the reflection of light from the main rings and the F ring, we have a unique method for studying the F ring's vertical structure.
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