Jupiter - Saturn

Spectral differences in NIR spectrum of Saturn and its rings
Near Infrared spectrum of Saturn contains deep methan absorption bands as is the case for Jupiter. Putting the slit along Saturn equator, we recorded the spectrum of Saturn together with the spectrum of its rings. Picture 1 shows that rings spectrum does not show methan absorption but only lines due to reflected solar light.

Picture 1: Near IR spectrum of Saturn and its rings recorded on the 6th of March 2003 with a 0.6 m F/20 Cassegrain telescope. The spectrograph was equipped with a 600 l/mm grating and a Kodak Wratten 88 filter to avoid superposition of second order of the green/blue part of the spectrum onto to NIR.
On the right can be seen the image of saturn throught the spectrograph optics with the grating turned as a mirror (zero order) and with the slit wide open. When the slit is closed along the planet equator, the spectrum is composed of three stripes. The central one is due to the planet while the other two on both side are due to the rings.

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