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The cratering record of the Saturnian satellites Phoebe, Tethys, Dione, and Iapetus in comparison: first results from analysis of the Cassini ISS image data

Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX
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  • Planetengeologie


2034.PDF THE CRATERING RECORD OF THE SATURNIAN SATELLITES PHOEBE, TETHYS, DIONE AND IAPETUS IN COMPARISON: FIRST RESULTS FROM ANALYSIS OF THE CASSINI ISS IMAGING DATA. G. Neukum1, R. Wagner2, T. Denk1, C. C. Porco3, and the Cassini ISS Team. 1Dept. of Earth Sciences, Institute of Geosciences, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Malteserstrasse 74-100, D-12249 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: [email protected], 2Inst. of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin, Germany, 3Space Science Inst., Boulder, Co. Introduction: The two cameras aboard the Cassini spacecraft which was placed into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004, have provided a wealth of new image data of the Saturnian moons Phoebe, Tethys, Dione and Iapetus and their cratering record [1]. In this work, we will present and discuss the first results of measurements of CSFDs (crater size- frequency distributions) on high-resolution Cassini ISS images of these bodies. Also, similar investigations will be carried out on image data of Mimas, Rhea and Enceladus to be returned in the first two months of the year 2005. Previous work: First crater counts of the satellites of Saturn were based on Voyager data with limited resolution (>1 km/pxl) [2]. It was discussed that the Saturnian satellites were bombarded by two different impactor populations, P1 and P2. P1 was attributed to an early heliocentric population, similar to the one that bombarded the terrestrial planets, and having been responsible for the larger craters, while P2 was believed to represent a Saturno-centric population for later cratering of the satellites, producing the smaller craters [3]. In an opposite view, [4] and [5] have put the existence of these two populations into doubt. It was shown by [4] that shapes of CSFDs on the Jovian and Saturnian satellites are rather similar to those measured on the terrestrial planets, including some asteroids, implying Main Belt asteroids as primary source in

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