Between 2004 and 2009 the RADAR instrument of the Cassini mission provided 31 SAR images of Titan. We tracked the position of 160 surface landmarks as a function of time in order to monitor the rotational dynamics of Titan. We generated and processed RADAR observables using a least squares fit to determine the updated values of the rotational parameters. We provide a new rotational model of Titan, which includes updated values for spin pole location, spin rate, precession and nutation terms. The estimated pole location is compatible with the occupancy of a Cassini state 1. We found a synchronous value of the spin rate (22.57693. deg/day), compatible at a 3-σ level with IAU predictions. The estimated obliquity is equal to 0.31°, incompatible with the assumption of a rigid body with fully-damped pole and a moment of inertia factor of 0.34, as determined by gravity measurements. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

The rotational dynamics of Titan from Cassini RADAR images

Mitri G.
2016-01-01

Abstract

Between 2004 and 2009 the RADAR instrument of the Cassini mission provided 31 SAR images of Titan. We tracked the position of 160 surface landmarks as a function of time in order to monitor the rotational dynamics of Titan. We generated and processed RADAR observables using a least squares fit to determine the updated values of the rotational parameters. We provide a new rotational model of Titan, which includes updated values for spin pole location, spin rate, precession and nutation terms. The estimated pole location is compatible with the occupancy of a Cassini state 1. We found a synchronous value of the spin rate (22.57693. deg/day), compatible at a 3-σ level with IAU predictions. The estimated obliquity is equal to 0.31°, incompatible with the assumption of a rigid body with fully-damped pole and a moment of inertia factor of 0.34, as determined by gravity measurements. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/713179
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