Simulating Saturn's Keeler Gap Region

M.C. Lewis and G.R. Stewart (USA)


– Collisional Dynamics, Planetary Rings, Keeler Gap, Boundary Conditions


This paper describes simulations of the region around Saturn's Keeler gap. The complications of simulating a region so close to a perturbing moon are discussed and some of the unique features of the Keeler gap region are analyzed. Due to the proximity to the perturbing moon a different simulation method was used than had been used in previous work. This new method required a larger simulation area so the simulations involved tens of millions of particles, making them the largest simulations of planetary rings ever performed. The simulations did not include particle self gravity. We find that this has little effect in the regions nearest the moon, but likely becomes more significant as the particles move downstream.

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