Orbit - orbital resonance with Dione , completing two...

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Orbit Figure 2: View of Enceladus's orbit (highlighted in red) from above Saturn's north pole Enceladus is one of the major inner satellites of Saturn. It is the fourteenth satellite when ordered by distance from Saturn, and orbits within the densest part of the E Ring , the outermost of Saturn's rings , an extremely wide but very diffuse disk of microscopic icy or dusty material, beginning at the orbit of Mimas and ending somewhere around the orbit of Rhea . Enceladus orbits Saturn at a distance of 238,000 km from the planet's center and 180,000 km from its cloudtops, between the orbits of Mimas and Tethys , requiring 32.9 hours to revolve once (fast enough for its motion to be observed over a single night of observation). Enceladus is currently in a 2:1 mean motion
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Unformatted text preview: orbital resonance with Dione , completing two orbits of Saturn for every one orbit completed by Dione. This resonance helps maintain Enceladus's orbital eccentricity (0.0047) and provides a heating source for Enceladus's geologic activity. [4] Like most of the larger satellites of Saturn, Enceladus rotates synchronously with its orbital period, keeping one face pointed toward Saturn. Unlike the Earth's moon, Enceladus does not appear to librate about its spin axis (more than 1.5). However, analysis of the shape of Enceladus suggests that at some point it was in a 1:4 forced secondary spin-orbit libration. [4] This libration, like the resonance with Dione, could have provided Enceladus with an additional heat source....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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