The Rings of Saturn as seen by Cassini CIRS


Wednesday, November 18 2009 - 12:00 pm, PST
Linda Spilker
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 An extensive set of thermal measurements of Saturn’s main rings has been returned by the Cassini Composite Infrared spectrometer (CIRS) over the past five years at a variety of ring geometries that are not observable from Earth. The largest temperature changes on the lit face of the rings are driven by variations in phase angle, including an unexpected thermal surge at low phase angles. Temperatures at equinox were retrieved for the first time, as the sun traversed from the south to north side of the rings in mid-August. Thermal phase curves, our preliminary equinox results and thermal modeling will be presented. 

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