Thursday, April 18, 2013

1304.4707 (N. Nettelmann et al.)

Saturn layered structure and homogeneous evolution models with different EOSs    [PDF]

N. Nettelmann, R. Puestow, R. Redmer
The core mass of Saturn is commonly assumed to be 10-25 ME as predicted by interior models with various equations of state (EOSs) and the Voyager gravity data, and hence larger than that of Jupiter (0-10 ME). We here re-analyze Saturn's internal structure and evolution by using more recent gravity data from the Cassini mission and different physical equations of state: the ab initio LM-REOS which is rather soft in Saturn's outer regions but stiff at high pressures, the standard Sesame-EOS which shows the opposite behavior, and the commonly used SCvH-i EOS. For all three EOS we find similar core mass ranges, i.e. of 0-20 ME for SCvH-i and Sesame EOS and of 0-17 ME for LM-REOS. Assuming an atmospheric helium mass abundance of 18%, we find maximum atmospheric metallicities, Zatm of 7x solar for SCvH-i and Sesame-based models and a total mass of heavy elements, MZ of 25-30 ME. Some models are Jupiter-like. With LM-REOS, we find MZ=16-20 ME, less than for Jupiter, and Zatm less than 3x solar. For Saturn, we compute moment of inertia values lambda=0.2355(5). Furthermore, we confirm that homogeneous evolution leads to cooling times of only about 2.5 Gyr, independent on the applied EOS. Our results demonstrate the need for accurately measured atmospheric helium and oxygen abundances, and of the moment of inertia for a better understanding of Saturn's structure and evolution.
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