The project consists of analyzing Cassini occultation data of the Saturn's D ring. This ring is the innermost ring of Saturn, which is very affected by the planet's gravitational field. Due to its closeness, it is very difficult to observe and few works have been made to study this ring.Cassini occultations revealed several narrow ringlets in the D ring, smaller than 1 km wide. These ringlets are unexpected because there is, still, no known process responsible to confining them.The preliminary analysis of one ringlet has shown an eccentric feature which is precessing. However, many ringlets have not been analysed yet, mainly because they do not seem to appear consistently in the profiles.We will study the stellar occultations to determine the shape and longitudinal variations of these ringlets. This will help the determination of the forces that could be responsible by confining the ring material and to probe the planet's gravitational field structure.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: