We present empirical phase curves of Jupiter from ∼0° to 140° as measured in multiple optical bandpasses by Cassini/Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) during the Millennium flyby of Jupiter in late 2000 to early 2001. Phase curves are of interest for studying the energy balance of Jupiter and understanding the scattering behavior of the planet as an exoplanet analog. We find that Jupiter is significantly darker at partial phases than an idealized Lambertian planet by roughly 25% and is not well fit by Jupiter-like exoplanet atmospheric models across all wavelengths. We provide analytic fits to Jupiter's phase function in several Cassini/ISS imaging filter bandpasses. In addition, these observations show that Jupiter's color is more variable with phase angle than predicted by models. Therefore, the color of even a near Jupiter-twin planet observed at a partial phase cannot be assumed to be comparable to that of Jupiter at full phase. We discuss how the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope and other future direct-imaging missions can enhance the study of cool giants.
- planets and satellites: atmospheres
- planets and satellites: gaseous planets
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science