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Gaps in the Saturn Rings A spectacular example of the instability of rational KAM-tori are the gaps in the rings of the planet Saturn.

The time a particle orbiting in Cassini's gap (between the A-ring and the B-ring, r=118,000km) would need around Saturn is exactly half the time the "shepherd-moon" Mimas needs to orbit Saturn. The quotient of the revolving frequencies is 2:1. Any particle orbiting in Cassini's gap is therefore unstable against the perturbation caused by Mimas and it is consequently thrown out of its orbit.

Here are some other references I ran across while looking:

And this article would be great to submit to the site, if someone wants to send it over to /l/space:

2 points by rain1 671 days ago

Not just understanding more about how that structure came about but that Saturn's rings are new!


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