The Cassini spacecraft encountered Rhea on November 26, 2005. Analysis of the Doppler data acquired at and around closest approach yields the mass of Rhea and the quadrupole moments of its gravity field with unprecedented accuracy. We obtained GM = 153.9395 +/- 0.0018 km(3) s(-2) which corresponds to a density of 1232.8 +/- 5.4 ka m(-3). Our results for J(2) and C-22 are (7.947 +/- 0.892) x 10(-4),and (2.3526 +/- 0.0476) x 10(-4) respectively. These values are consistent with hydrostatic equilibrium. From the value of C22, we infer the non-dimensional moment of inertia C/MR2 = 0.3721 +/- 0.0036. Our models of Rhea's interior based on the gravity data favor an almost undifferentiated satellite. A discontinuity between a core and a mantle is possible but not required by the data. Models with a constant silicate mass fraction throughout the body cannot account for the determined quadrupole coefficients. The data exclude fully differentiated models in which the core would be composed of unhydrated silicates and the mantle would be composed of pure ice. If the mantle contains 10% in mass of silicates, the core extends to 630 km in radius and has a silicate mass fraction of 40%. A continuous model in which the silicates are more concentrated toward the center of the body than in the outer layers is allowed by the gravity data but excluded by thermal evolution considerations. The one model that fits the gravity data and is self-consistent when energy transport and ice melting are qualitatively considered is an "almost undifferentiated" Rhea, in which a very large uniform core is surrounded by a relatively thin ice shell containing no rock at all. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Titolo:||Gravity field and interior of Rhea from Cassini data analysis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|