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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 680-684 (1999)

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Masses and densities of the four inner major Saturn's satellites

G. Dourneau and S. Baratchart

Observatoire de Bordeaux, B.P. 89, 33270 Floirac, France

Received 9 April 1999 / Accepted 6 July 1999


Firstly in this paper, values for the masses and densities of the four inner major Saturn's satellites are determined from the recent theories of motion of these satellites developped by Dourneau (1993). The masses respectively obtained for Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys and Dione, expressed in units of Saturn's mass, are:


Satellite densities are then derived from satellite masses given just above and from radii determined via Voyagers pictures. Their values, expressed in [FORMULA], are:


Secondly in this paper, we discuss masses and densities of these atellites, in terms of their method of determination. It appears that the method using satellite theories of motion provides quite reliable values, like those proposed above in this paper, for all satellites, Enceladus excepted. For this satellite, determinations from theories of motion are not as accurate as those obtained from the planetological work of Dermott & Thomas (1994).

Key words: planets and satellites: individual: Saturn – celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics

Send offprint requests to: G. Dourneau (dourneau@observ.u-bordeaux.fr)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 4, 1999