Discovery image of S/2004 S 3
|Discovered by||CICLOPS Team |
|Discovery date||June 21, 2004|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Semi-major axis||140,100–140,600 km|
|Eccentricity||< 0.002 [a]|
|Orbital period||0.62 d|
|Inclination||close to zero|
|Mean radius||1.5–2.5 km|
|Rotation period||probably synchronous|
S/2004 S 3 is the provisional designation of an object seen orbiting Saturn just beyond the outer strand of the F ring on June 21, 2004. It was discovered by the Cassini Imaging Science Team in images taken by the Cassini–Huygens probe on June 21, 2004 and announced on September 9, 2004.
Despite later attempts to recover it, it has not been reliably sighted since. Notably, an imaging sequence covering an entire orbital period at 4 km resolution taken on November 15, 2004 failed to recover the object. This suggests that it was a temporary clump of material that had disappeared by that time.
Another object, S/2004 S 4, was sighted nearby 5 hours later, but this time just inside the F Ring. Because of the differing localisation the second object was given a fresh designation, although their interpretation as a single object on a F-ring crossing orbit is also possible. Such an object might also be orbiting at a slightly different inclination to the F ring, thereby not actually passing through the ring material despite being seen both radially inward and outward of it.
- Based on above semimajor axis range, and Spitale Jacobson et al. 2006
- "Cassini Imaging Science Team". Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Green, Daniel W. E. (September 9, 2004). "S/2004 S 3, S/2004 S 4, and R/2004 S 1" (discovery). IAU Circular 8401. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Green, Daniel W. E. (November 8, 2004). "Satellites and Rings of Saturn". IAU Circular 8432. Retrieved 2012-01-01. (claiming recovery of S/2004 S 3 on October 17, 2004 in conflict with the later Spitale Jacobson et al. 2006)
- Martinez, Carolina; Ormrod, Gill; Finn, Heidi (September 9, 2004). "Cassini Discovers Ring and One, Possibly Two, Objects at Saturn". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Spitale, J. N.; Jacobson, R. A.; Porco, C. C.; Owen, W. M., Jr. (2006). "The orbits of Saturn's small satellites derived from combined historic and Cassini imaging observations". The Astronomical Journal 132 (2): 692–710. Bibcode:2006AJ....132..692S. doi:10.1086/505206.
- Cassini–Huygens press release about discoveries around the F ring in 2004
- Cassini–Huygens Multimedia: The Clump/Moon Mystery September 5, 2005 (images of the clumps and/or moons seen around the F ring by Cassini cameras)