Photopolarimetry from Voyager 2; Preliminary Results on Saturn, Titan, and the Rings

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Science  29 Jan 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4532, pp. 537-543
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4532.537


The Voyager 2 photopolarimeter was reprogrammed prior to the August 1981 Saturn encounter to perform orthogonal-polarization, two-color measurements on Saturn, Titan, and the rings. Saturn's atmosphere has ultraviolet limb brightening in the mid-latitudes and pronounced polar darkening north of 65°N. Titan's opaque atmosphere shows strong positive polarization at all phase angles (2.7° to 154°), and no single-size spherical particle model appears to fit the data. A single radial stellar occultation of the darkened, shadowed rings indicated a ring thickness of less than 200 meters at several locations and clear evidence for density waves caused by satellite resonances. Multiple, very narrow strands of material were found in the Encke division and within the brightest single strand of the F ring.