Late origin of the Saturn system

Erik Asphaug, Andreas Reufer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Saturn is orbited by a half dozen ice rich middle-sized moons (MSMs) of diverse geology and composition. These comprise ∼4.4% of Saturn's satellite mass; the rest is Titan, more massive per planet than Jupiter's satellites combined. Jupiter has no MSMs. Disk-based models to explain these differences exist, but have various challenges and assumptions. We introduce the hypothesis that Saturn originally had a 'galilean' system of moons comparable to Jupiter's, that collided and merged, ultimately forming Titan. Mergers liberate ice-rich spiral arms in our simulations, that self-gravitate into escaping clumps resembling Saturn's MSMs in size and compositional diversity. We reason that MSMs were spawned in a few such collisional mergers around Saturn, while Jupiter's original satellites stayed locked in resonance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-565
Number of pages22
JournalIcarus
Volume223
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Saturn
natural satellites
Moon
Jupiter
Jupiter satellites
Titan
Jupiter (planet)
merger
ice
Saturn satellites
clumps
geology
planets
planet
simulation

Keywords

  • Enceladus
  • Moon
  • Moons
  • Saturn, satellites
  • Titan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Asphaug, E., & Reufer, A. (2013). Late origin of the Saturn system. Icarus, 223(1), 544-565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.009

Late origin of the Saturn system. / Asphaug, Erik; Reufer, Andreas.

In: Icarus, Vol. 223, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 544-565.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Asphaug, E & Reufer, A 2013, 'Late origin of the Saturn system', Icarus, vol. 223, no. 1, pp. 544-565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.009
Asphaug, Erik ; Reufer, Andreas. / Late origin of the Saturn system. In: Icarus. 2013 ; Vol. 223, No. 1. pp. 544-565.
@article{2e373fd45780483186052bb38eff2873,
title = "Late origin of the Saturn system",
abstract = "Saturn is orbited by a half dozen ice rich middle-sized moons (MSMs) of diverse geology and composition. These comprise ∼4.4{\%} of Saturn's satellite mass; the rest is Titan, more massive per planet than Jupiter's satellites combined. Jupiter has no MSMs. Disk-based models to explain these differences exist, but have various challenges and assumptions. We introduce the hypothesis that Saturn originally had a 'galilean' system of moons comparable to Jupiter's, that collided and merged, ultimately forming Titan. Mergers liberate ice-rich spiral arms in our simulations, that self-gravitate into escaping clumps resembling Saturn's MSMs in size and compositional diversity. We reason that MSMs were spawned in a few such collisional mergers around Saturn, while Jupiter's original satellites stayed locked in resonance.",
keywords = "Enceladus, Moon, Moons, Saturn, satellites, Titan",
author = "Erik Asphaug and Andreas Reufer",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "223",
pages = "544--565",
journal = "Icarus",
issn = "0019-1035",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Late origin of the Saturn system

AU - Asphaug, Erik

AU - Reufer, Andreas

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - Saturn is orbited by a half dozen ice rich middle-sized moons (MSMs) of diverse geology and composition. These comprise ∼4.4% of Saturn's satellite mass; the rest is Titan, more massive per planet than Jupiter's satellites combined. Jupiter has no MSMs. Disk-based models to explain these differences exist, but have various challenges and assumptions. We introduce the hypothesis that Saturn originally had a 'galilean' system of moons comparable to Jupiter's, that collided and merged, ultimately forming Titan. Mergers liberate ice-rich spiral arms in our simulations, that self-gravitate into escaping clumps resembling Saturn's MSMs in size and compositional diversity. We reason that MSMs were spawned in a few such collisional mergers around Saturn, while Jupiter's original satellites stayed locked in resonance.

AB - Saturn is orbited by a half dozen ice rich middle-sized moons (MSMs) of diverse geology and composition. These comprise ∼4.4% of Saturn's satellite mass; the rest is Titan, more massive per planet than Jupiter's satellites combined. Jupiter has no MSMs. Disk-based models to explain these differences exist, but have various challenges and assumptions. We introduce the hypothesis that Saturn originally had a 'galilean' system of moons comparable to Jupiter's, that collided and merged, ultimately forming Titan. Mergers liberate ice-rich spiral arms in our simulations, that self-gravitate into escaping clumps resembling Saturn's MSMs in size and compositional diversity. We reason that MSMs were spawned in a few such collisional mergers around Saturn, while Jupiter's original satellites stayed locked in resonance.

KW - Enceladus

KW - Moon

KW - Moons

KW - Saturn, satellites

KW - Titan

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84873444492&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84873444492&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.009

DO - 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.009

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84873444492

VL - 223

SP - 544

EP - 565

JO - Icarus

JF - Icarus

SN - 0019-1035

IS - 1

ER -