Cladistical analysis of the Jovian and Saturnian satellite systems

Holt, Timothy R. and Brown, Adrian J. and Nesvorny, David and Horner, Jonathan and Carter, Brad (2018) Cladistical analysis of the Jovian and Saturnian satellite systems. The Astrophysical Journal, 859 (2). pp. 1-20. ISSN 0004-637X

Abstract

Jupiter and Saturn each have complex systems of satellites and rings. These satellites can be classified into dynamical groups, implying similar formation scenarios. Recently, a larger number of additional irregular satellites have been discovered around both gas giants that have yet to be classified. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationships between the satellites and rings of the gas giants, using an analytical technique called cladistics. Cladistics is traditionally used to examine relationships between living organisms, the 'tree of life.' In this work, we perform the first cladistical study of objects in a planetary science context. Our method uses the orbital, physical, and compositional characteristics of satellites to classify the objects in the Jovian and Saturnian systems. We find that the major relationships between the satellites in the two systems, such as families, as presented in previous studies, are broadly preserved. In addition, based on our analysis of the Jovian system, we identify a new retrograde irregular family, the Iocaste family, and suggest that the Phoebe family of the Saturnian system can be further divided into two subfamilies. We also propose that the Saturnian irregular families be renamed, to be consistent with the convention used in Jovian families. Using cladistics, we are also able to assign the new unclassified irregular satellites into families. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrate the potential use of the cladistical technique in the investigation of relationships between orbital bodies.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 06:49
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 05:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: methods: data analysis, planets and satellites: composition, planets and satellites: general
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aabe2c
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34448

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