Titan's surface and rotation: New results from Voyager 1 images

James Richardson, Ralph D. Lorenz, Alfred S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present an analysis of images of Saturn's moon Titan, obtained by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on November 8-12, 1980. Orange filter (590-640 nm) images were photometrically corrected and a longitudinal average removed from them, leaving residual images with up to 5% contrast, and dominated by surface reflectivity. The resultant map shows the same regions observed at 673 nm by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Many of the same albedo features are present in both datasets, despite the short wavelength (600 nm) of the Voyager 1 images. A very small apparent longitudinal offset over the 14 year observation interval places tight constraints on Titan's rotation, which appears essentially synchronous at 15.9458±0.0016 days (orbital period =15.945421±0.000005 days). The detectability of the surface at such short wavelengths puts constraints on the optical depth, which may be overestimated by some fractal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-124
Number of pages12
JournalIcarus
Volume170
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Fingerprint

Titan
Voyager 1 spacecraft
wavelength
Saturn
natural satellites
albedo
Hubble Space Telescope
wavelengths
optical thickness
reflectivity
optical depth
Moon
fractals
spacecraft
filter
intervals
reflectance
filters
orbitals

Keywords

  • Atmosphere
  • Image processing
  • Satellites
  • Surface
  • Titan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Titan's surface and rotation : New results from Voyager 1 images. / Richardson, James; Lorenz, Ralph D.; McEwen, Alfred S.

In: Icarus, Vol. 170, No. 1, 07.2004, p. 113-124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richardson, James ; Lorenz, Ralph D. ; McEwen, Alfred S. / Titan's surface and rotation : New results from Voyager 1 images. In: Icarus. 2004 ; Vol. 170, No. 1. pp. 113-124.
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