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Saturn's 5.2-μm Cold Spots: Unexpected Cloud Variability

Authors
Journal
Icarus
0019-1035
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
150
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/icar.2000.6580

Abstract

Abstract New 5.2-μm thermal images of Saturn's clouds reveal a strong axisymmetric banded structure centered at 45°S with discrete cold spots about 30,000–50,000 km long that: (i) lower the ∼180-K brightness temperature by 8–10 K; (ii) rotate at a rate that is consistent with cloud-tracked zonal winds; and (iii) exhibit no correlation with structures seen in reflected sunlight. They are explained by variations of optical thickness of clouds just below the 1-bar level.

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