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The 20-µm brightness temperature of the unilluminated side of Saturn's rings

Abstract

The 20-µm brightness temperature of the unilluminated (north) side of Saturn's rings is reported here to be 56±1 K. This measurement, together with previous measurements of the rings at 20 µm, shows that the brightness temperature of the B ring can be approximated by the simple equation T4B = 564 + 1.52 × 108 sin |B′|, where B′ is the saturnicentric declination of the Sun. We have assumed that emission from the Cassini division is negligible. The constants in this equation may be understood in terms of a two-component heating model for the ring particles—sunlight and radiation from Saturn. We discuss the implications of the IR data for several published ring models.

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