Letter | Published:

Photometric confirmation of the Encke division in Saturn's ring A

Nature volume 272, pages 601602 (13 April 1978) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

APPROXIMATELY once every 15 yr, it is possible to observe Saturn's satellite lapetus passing through the shadow of the rings. Observations of such events are of great value to studies of the optical properties of the rings, as ground-based observations of reflected light are limited to a small range of phase angles near zero ( |ϕ|< 6°), and eclipses give transmission data at ϕ = 180°. During the current apparition, lapetus experiences two eclipses, the first having occurred on 19–20 October 1977, and the second 7–8 January 1978. The observed brightness of Tapetus during eclipse represents a spatial convolution of light from the limb-darkened disk of the Sun with the transmission of the rings and the non-uniform reflectivity over the disk of lapetus. We have examined this physical model through a computer simulation of the eclipse and use this to give here photometric confirmation of the Encke division in ring A.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    in Astrophvsical Quantities, 169–171 (Athlone, London, 1973).

  2. 2.

    , & Icarus 26, 387–407 (1975).

  3. 3.

    Icarus 18, 247–252 (1973).

  4. 4.

    , & Astr. J. 81, 209–215 (1976).

  5. 5.

    Icarus 12, 101–107 (1970).

  6. 6.

    Icarus 15, 466–479 (1972).

  7. 7.

    in The Planet Saturn, 165–166 (Macmillan, New York. 1962).

  8. 8.

    Saturn Ring Study Team The D Ring—Fact or Fiction JPL, 760–134. 5–12 (1975).

  9. 9.

    & Science 197, 915–917 (1977).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721

    • H. J. REITSEMA

Authors

  1. Search for H. J. REITSEMA in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/272601a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.