Burns, J.A., Hedman, M., Tiscareno, M., Porco, C., Jones, G., Roussos, E., Krupp, N. (2006). "An Arc in Saturn's G Ring." American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #38, #47.04.


Abstract
The G ring is a narrow, faint ring located between the orbits of Janus and Mimas. Approximately 4000 km wide, it has a strongly asymmetric brightness profile with a sharp inner edge between 167,000 km and 168,000 km from Saturn's center and a more diffuse outer part. In Cassini images, a portion of the ring contains a bright arc that abuts the G-ring's inner edge and extends over 30 degrees in longitude. By tracking this arc over the first two years of the Cassini Mission, we find its orbital period is 0.80813 day, corresponding to a semi-major axis of 167,496 km. Since this location places the arc within 6 km of the Mimas 7:6 Co-rotation Eccentricity Resonance and within 12 km of the Mimas 7:6 Inner Lindblad Resonance, the arc is likely confined in longitude by Mimas just as Neptune's ring arcs are held in place by Galatea. The arc's longitude relative to Mimas is consistent with this model. Cassini now has the opportunity to study the dynamics of this sort of system in detail over a period of years. The arc, which may be the debris of a fragmented moon, may also supply the particles found in the rest of the G ring, micron-sized grains drift outwards by non-gravitational processes in this region.
The G-ring is responsible for a broad, relatively modest decrease in the fluxes of magnetospheric charged particles. When Cassini passed over the G ring in the vicinity of the arc, on September 5, 2005, the MIMI instrument detected a particularly sharp and deep charged particle absorption signature. Such pronounced charged particle absorption was not seen in the other G-ring passages that occurred longitudinally far from the arc. The nature of this absorption provides constraints on the population of large particles in this arc.