Saturn at infrared wavelengths

Saturn at infrared wavelengths

Fig. 10.4 . This image was taken at infrared wavelengths that are sensitive to temperatures in Saturnís upper troposphere. The prominent "hot spot" at the bottom of the image is located at the planetís south pole, which is in summer, but at the temperature of only 91 kelvin it is still freezing cold. Warm regions at 88 to 89 kelvin are found above 70 degrees southern latitude. Ring particles are not at uniform temperature everywhere in their orbit around Saturn. They are cold just after having cooled down in Saturnís shadow (lower left). As they orbit Saturn, the particles increase in temperature to a maximum just before passing behind Saturn again in shadow. This image is a mosaic of 35 individual exposures made at the Keck I Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii on 4 February 2004; the small missing section is due to incomplete mosaic coverage during the observing sequence. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University