Planetary Radio Astronomy Observations from Voyager 2 Near Saturn

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Jan 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4532, pp. 582-587
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4532.582


Planetary radio astronomy measurements obtained by Voyager 2 near Saturn have added further evidence that Saturnian kilometric radiation is emitted by a strong dayside source at auroral latitudes in the northern hemisphere and by a weaker source at complementary latitudes in the southern hemisphere. These emissions are variable because of Saturn's rotation and, on longer time scales, probably because of influences of the solar wind and Dione. The electrostatic discharge bursts first discovered by Voyager 1 and attributed to emissions from the B ring were again observed with the same broadband spectral properties and an episodic recurrence period of about 10 hours, but their occurrence frequency was only about 30 percent of that detected by Voyager 1. While crossing the ring plane at a distance of 2.88 Saturn radii, the spacecraft detected an intense noise event extending to above 1 megahertz and lasting about 150 seconds. The event is interpreted to be a consequence of the impact, vaporization, and ionization of charged, micrometer-size G ring particles distributed over a vertical thickness of about 1500 kilometers.

Stay Connected to Science