Extreme Ultraviolet Observations from Voyager 1 Encounter with Saturn

Science  10 Apr 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4491, pp. 206-211
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4491.206


The global hydrogen Lyman α, helium (584 angstroms), and molecular hydrogen band emissions from Saturn are qualitatively similar to those of Jupiter, but the Saturn observations emphasize that the H2 band excitation mechanism is closely related to the solar flux. Auroras occur near 80° latitude, suggesting Earth-like magnetotail activity, quite different from the dominant Io plasma torus mechanism at Jupiter. No ion emissions have been detected from the magnetosphere of Saturn, but the rings have a hydrogen atmosphere; atomic hydrogen is also present in a torus between 8 and 25 Saturn radii. Nitrogen emission excited by particles has been detected in the Titan dayglow and bright limb scans. Enhancement of the nitrogen emission is observed in the region of interaction between Titan's atmosphere and the corotating plasma in Saturn's plasmasphere. No particle-excited emission has been detected from the dark atmosphere of Titan. The absorption profile of the atmosphere determined by the solar occultation experiment, combined with constraints from the dayglow observations and temperature information, indicate that N2 is the dominant species. A double layer structure has been detected above Titan's limb. One of the layers may be related to visible layers in the images of Titan.