Byington, B.M., Tiscareno, M.S., Burns, J.A., Hedman, M.M., Porco, C.C., (2010). "The Effect of Viewing Geometry on Propeller Observations in Saturn's A Ring" American Astronomical Society, DDA meeting #41, #9.14.


Abstract
"Propeller"-shaped structures in Saturn's main rings indicate the presence of embedded 100-m-size moonlets (Tiscareno et al., 2006, Nature). The optical properties of propeller structures, and their contrast with respect to the surrounding continuum ring, can give clues not only to their particle sizes and compositions, but also the relative strengths of inter-particle interactions such as self-gravity wakes (Tiscareno et al., 2010, AJ). We hope that a systematic study such as ours will provide further insights into the formation of these structures. We investigate the densely populated A ring "Propeller Belt" (Sremcevic et al., 2007, Nature; Tiscareno et al., 2008, AJ) using 74 Cassini images of constant ring radius and slowly varying incidence, emission, and phase angles. We will present our findings regarding the dependence on viewing geometry of the surface area density and the contrast-brightness of detected propellers, and we will discuss the methods and challenges of propeller identification.