Presentation Archive

Using Saturn’s rings to probe the planet’s internal structure

Matthew Hedman (University of Idaho)

November 23, 2015

Abstract: Saturn’s rings are not just beautiful, complex collections of particles in orbit around the planet, but are also powerful tools for investigating the internal structure of Saturn itself. In particular, spiral patterns in the inner part of the ring system appear to be generated by oscillations and asymmetries inside the planet. These features provide new avenues for exploring the internal structure of giant planets, and have already yielded several surprises that may have interesting implications for Saturn’s interior.