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Published September 2005 | public
Journal Article

Thermal response of Iapetus to an eclipse by Saturn's rings


Measurements of Iapetus as seen at 20 and 2.2 μm in the shadow of Saturn's ring are given, providing the thermal response to a rapidly varying heat input. The 20 μm thermal emission follows the 2.2 μm flux input closely. The observations, plus a simple diffusion calculation, imply that the surface of Iapetus is made of material having a very small thermal inertia, probably / ≾ 10Jm^(-2)s^(-½)K^(-1).

Additional Information

© 2005 Elsevier Inc. Received 1 November 2004, Revised 3 March 2005, Available online 25 April 2005. We thank the staff of Palomar Observatory for their help in making the observations and M. Neugebauer and D. Behkne for help with the manuscript and E. Harrison and J.R. Spencer for helpful comments. This work was supported by the NSF.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
March 5, 2024