Atmosphere of Jupiter from the Pioneer 11 S-Band Occultation Experiment: Preliminary Results

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Science  02 May 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4187, pp. 474-476
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4187.474


Two additional radio occultation measurements of the atmosphere of Jupiter were obtained with Pioneer 11. The entry measurement leads to a temperature profile that is substantially in agreement with those obtained with Pioneer 10, showing temperatures much higher than those derived from other observations. The exit measurement is not usable because of the discontinuous drift of the spacecraft auxiliary oscillator, presumably due to the trapped radiation belts of Jupiter. The combination of two Pioneer 10 measurements and one Pioneer 11 measurement yields an oblateness of 0.06496 at 1 millibar and 0.06547 at 160 millibars. Measurements in the Jovian ionosphere indicate a number of layers distributed over about 3000 kilometers, with a topside temperature of about 750 K.