Impact of Saturn Ring Particles on Pioneer 11

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Science  25 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4429, pp. 443-444
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4429.443


The particle flux measured by the meteoroid detectors on Pioneer 11 increased greatly while the spacecraft was near the rings of Saturn. The data suggest that the particles were associated with the rings and were not interplanetary meteoroids concentrated near the planet by gravitational focusing. The data also suggest that the E ring may be 1800 kilometers thick with an optical thickness greater than 10–8.