Radio Science with Voyager at Jupiter: Initial Voyager 2 Results and a Voyager 1 Measure of the Io Torus

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Science  23 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4421, pp. 959-962
DOI: 10.1126/science.206.4421.959


Voyager 2 radio signals were observed essentially continuously during a grazing occultation of the spacecraft by the southern limb of Jupiter. Intensity data show a classic atmospheric occultation profile and the effects of turbulence and ionospheric focusing and defocusing. No reliable profile of the neutral atmosphere has yet been obtained, primarily because of a combination of large trajectory uncertainties and error multiplication effects associated with the grazing geometry of the Voyager 2 occultation. Analysis of the dispersive ionospheric refraction data yields preliminary profiles for the topside ionosphere at 66.7°S (entry in the evening) and 50.1°S (exit in the morning) that are reversed with respect to corresponding Voyager 1 profiles in terms of plasma concentration at a fixed altitude. Plasma scale heights and temperatures of 880 kilometers, 1200 K and 1040 kilometers, 1600 K were obtained for morning and evening conditions, respectively. Preliminary reduction of the pre-encounter occultation of Voyager 1 by the Io torus yields an average plasma density of about 1000 electrons per cubic centimeter.