New names for gaps in Saturn's rings
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
09-02-2009 13:35 CST
According to a bulletin today from the USGS, there are nine new formal names for many gaps in the Saturnian ring system: Bond, Dawes, Herschel, Russell, Jeffreys, Kuiper, Laplace, Bessel, and Barnard. Here's a table, again copied from the USGS, detailing the locations of rings and ring gaps. The new Bond and Dawes gaps are located within the C ring; all the others are located within the Cassini Division.
|D||67,000 - 74,490||7,500|
|C||74,490 - 91,980||17,500|
|Bond Gap||88,690 - 88,720||30|
|Dawes Gap||90,200 - 90,220||20|
|B||91,980 - 117,500||25,500|
|Cassini Division||117,500 - 122,050||4,700|
|Huygens Gap||117,680||285 - 440|
|Herschel Gap||118,183 - 118,285||102|
|Russell Gap||118,597 - 118,630||33|
|Jeffreys Gap||118,931 - 118,969||38|
|Kuiper Gap||119,403 - 119,406||3|
|Laplace Gap||119,848 - 120,086||238|
|Bessel Gap||120,236 - 120,246||10|
|Barnard Gap||120,305 - 120,318||13|
|A||122,050 - 136,770||14,600|
|Roche Division||136,770 - 139,380||2600|
|F||140,224||30 - 500|
|G||166,000 - 174,000||8,000|
|E||180,000 - 480,000||300,000|
For context, here's Cassini's marvelous panorama across the complete ring system, including the gaps that had names at the time that the images were taken on May 9, 2007.
From a vantage point about a million kilometers away and 39 degrees to the north of the ring plane, Cassini scanned across the unlit side of Saturn's rings, acquiring images through multiple color filters. Images taken through red, green, and blue filters have been combined into this approximately natural color panorama, which shows details as small as 6 kilometers across (which is much larger than any of the individual particles within the rings). Because the light is shining from the back of the rings toward Cassini, parts of the rings that are mostly transparent but contain lots of fine dust, like the F ring and the Cassini division, are particularly bright. Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI
On February 9, 2009, the International Astronomical Union announced nine new names for gaps within Saturn's rings, including seven gaps within the Cassini division. The Cassini division separates Saturn's main A and B rings. Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI / diagram by Emily Lakdawalla
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