Publication Abstracts

Janssen et al. 2013

Janssen, M.A., A.P. Ingersoll, M.D. Allison, S. Gulkis, A.L. Laraia, K.H. Baines, S.G. Edgington, Y.Z. Anderson, K. Kelieher, and F.A. Oyafuso, 2013: Saturn's thermal emission at 2.2-cm wavelength as imaged by the Cassini RADAR radiometer. Icarus, 226, 522-535, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.06.008.

We present well-calibrated, high-resolution maps of Saturn's thermal emission at 2.2-cm wavelength obtained by the Cassini RADAR radiometer through the Prime and Equinox Cassini missions, a period covering approximately six years. The absolute brightness temperature calibration of 2% achieved is more than twice better than for all previous microwave observations reported for Saturn, and the spatial resolution and sensitivity achieved each represent nearly an order of magnitude improvement. The brightness temperature of Saturn in the microwave region depends on the distribution of ammonia, which our radiative transfer modeling shows is the only significant source of absorption in Saturn's atmosphere at 2.2-cm wavelength. At this wavelength the thermal emission comes from just below and within the ammonia cloud-forming region, and yields information about atmospheric circulations and ammonia cloud-forming processes. The maps are presented as residuals compared to a fully saturated model atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium. Bright regions in these maps are readily interpreted as due to depletion of ammonia vapor in, and, for very bright regions, below the ammonia saturation region. Features seen include the following: a narrow equatorial band near full saturation surrounded by bands out to about 10° planetographic latitude that demonstrate highly variable ammonia depletion in longitude; narrow bands of depletion at -35° latitude; occasional large oval features with depleted ammonia around -45° latitude; and the 2010-2011 storm, with extensive saturated and depleted areas as it stretched halfway around the planet in the northern hemisphere. Comparison of the maps over time indicates a high degree of stability outside a few latitudes that contain active regions.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Janssen, M. A. and Ingersoll, A. P. and Allison, M. D. and Gulkis, S. and Laraia, A. L. and Baines, K. H. and Edgington, S. G. and Anderson, Y. Z. and Kelieher, K. and Oyafuso, F. A.},
  title={Saturn's thermal emission at 2.2-cm wavelength as imaged by the Cassini RADAR radiometer},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ja03200a
AU  - Janssen, M. A.
AU  - Ingersoll, A. P.
AU  - Allison, M. D.
AU  - Gulkis, S.
AU  - Laraia, A. L.
AU  - Baines, K. H.
AU  - Edgington, S. G.
AU  - Anderson, Y. Z.
AU  - Kelieher, K.
AU  - Oyafuso, F. A.
PY  - 2013
TI  - Saturn's thermal emission at 2.2-cm wavelength as imaged by the Cassini RADAR radiometer
JA  - Icarus
VL  - 226
SP  - 522
EP  - 535
DO  - 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.06.008
ER  -

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