Houston, TX 77005
12:05 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
An extensive set of thermal measurements of Saturn’s main rings has been returned by the Cassini Composite Infrared spectrometer (CIRS) over the past nine 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 2009. Thermal phase curves, our equinox results, and thermal modeling of this diverse, complex system will be presented.