Dynamics of Saturn's rings

Research Group: 
Astronomy Unit
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
QM Scholarship
Project Description: 
Projects are available that involve analysis of Cassini spacecraft images and theoretical/computation to understand the complex dynamics of the Saturn-ring system. The group has a particular interest in the dynamics of Saturn's F ring as well as the dynamical structure of the edge of the A ring. The work would involve the use of Cassini images to constrain models of these regions in terms of, for example, the role of collisions with a population of unseen moonlets, the importance of self-gravity in determining ring structure and the location and role of resonances with known satellites. The long-term evolution of such systems is also a subject of current interest. Stduents would be expected to develop their own code to study these processes or to adapt existing code. The comparison with Cassini observations of the rings would be key compoent of the research project.
SPA Academics: 
Carl Murray