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A dust halo of Enceladus

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1 Author(s)
Wing-Huen Ip ; Inst. of Astron., Nat. Central Univ., Chung-Li, Taiwan

The physical consequence of the collisional interaction of the Saturnian E-ring particles with the icy satellite Enceladus is examined. It is suggested that Enceladus should be surrounded by an extended halo of dust particles. In association with the generation of impact vapor clouds, an abundance of tiny smoke particles of 10-100 Å diameter might be created and subsequently picked up by the corotating magnetosphere. The Saturnian system could therefore be immersed in a disc of fine dust particles. The E-ring particle impact process is also important in providing a mechanism for surface mass transport and removal at Enceladus. For example, because of impact, erosion craters of diameters less than 2 km could be significantly eroded in regions where the surface age is only 100 million years old

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 2 )