LPL Colloquium:

Thursday, Feb 21, 2013
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm

Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 308

Dr. Matthew Hedman
Senior Research Associate
Cornell University

Host: Renu Malhotra

Studying Saturn's Structure with Resonances in the Rings


Saturn's rings possess a wide array of structures and patterns sculpted by various combinations of particle interactions and outside forces. While the origin of many ring features remain obscure, certain distinctive patterns appear to be generated by asymmetries or oscillations within Saturn itself. Periodic brightness variations in two tenuous rings appear to be coupled to variations in Saturn's radio emissions, and thus probably track asymmetries in Saturn's magnetosphere. Meanwhile, spiral patterns in the innermost parts of Saturn's dense main rings have the right morphologies and motions to be generated by normal mode oscillations within the planet. These structures provide new avenues for exploring the internal structure of giant planets.