Mitchell, C. and Porco, C. (2006). "The Saturn Ring Spokes of September 2005." American Astronomical Society, DDA meeting #37, #14.05.


Abstract
The re-appearance of Saturn's ring spokes in September 2005 offers us a new opportunity to study the dynamics of the small dust grains believed to make up the spokes. These new spokes, which appeared in 3 Cassini ISS images taken of the dark side of the rings, have contrasts on the order of 20%, are approximately 6,000 km in length and 1,000 km wide, and appear nearly radial in the first image, indicating that they are likely quite young. Here we present our kinematic analysis of these new spokes as well as some preliminary results of our numerical simulations of the dynamics and electric charging of the dust grains comprising the spokes. We find that, due to the charge on these grains, their interactions with the planet's electric and magnetic fields cause their motions to deviate slightly from Keplerian.