Infrared Observations of the Saturnian System from Voyager 2

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Science  29 Jan 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4532, pp. 544-548
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4532.544


During the passage of Voyager 2 through the Saturn system, infrared spectral and radiometric data were obtained for Saturn, Titan, Enceladus, Tethys, Iapetus, and the rings. Combined Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 observations of temperatures in the upper troposphere of Saturn indicate a seasonal asymmetry between the northern and southern hemispheres, with superposed small-scale meridional gradients. Comparison of high spatial resolution data from the two hemispheres poleward of 60° latitude suggests an approximate symmetry in the small-scale structure, consistent with the extension of a symmetric system of zonal jets into the polar regions. Longitudinal variations of 1 to 2 K are observed. Disk- averaged infrared spectra of Titan show little change over the 9-month interval between Voyager encounters. By combining Voyager 2 temperature measurements with ground-based geometric albedo determinations, phase integrals of 0.91 ± 0.13 and 0.89 ± 0.09 were derived for Tethys and Enceladus, respectively. The subsolar point temperature of dark material on Iapetus must exceed 110 K. Temperatures (and infrared optical depths) for the A and C rings and for the Cassini division are 69 ± 1 K (0.40 ± 0.05), 85 ± 1 K (0.10 ± 0.03), and 85 ± 2 K (0.07 ± 0.04), respectively.