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Infrared Radiometers

NSSDCA ID: 1972-012A-08

Mission Name: Pioneer 10
Principal Investigator:Dr. Andrew P. Ingersoll


This experiment, carried on both Pioneers 10 and 11, was designed to measure the irradiance of Jupiter's atmosphere and surface in two ranges of thermal (IR) wavelengths -- 14 to 25 and 19 to 56 micrometers. These measurements provided data on the net thermal energy flux of Jupiter and its deviation from a blackbody spectrum. In addition, detailed information was provided on the atmospheric thermal structure and chemical composition of the planet. The instrumentation for this experiment was similar to that carried on the Mariners 6 and 7 flights in 1969 but had higher resolution. It was a two-channel IR radiometer employing a pair of 88-channel, thin-film bimetallic thermocouples, illuminated through appropriate optics by a 7.62-cm reflecting Cassegrain telescope with a 1-deg by 0.3-deg field of view. Analysis of the data was to help resolve: (1) whether Jupiter is radiating a significant amount of internal energy, (2) the existence of a frozen methane polar cap, (3) the brightness temperature on the dark hemisphere, and (4) the existence of thermal discontinuities in the atmosphere. This instrument was turned off in January 1974 after a failure of unknown origin.

Alternate Names

  • Measurement of Infrared Radiation from Jupiter
  • Pioneer10/InfraredRadiometers

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres
  • Astronomy: Infrared

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. John F. Cooper



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Gerry NeugebauerOther InvestigatorCalifornia Institute of
Mr. Stillman C. Chase, Jr.Other InvestigatorSanta Barbara Research Center
Dr. Andrew P. IngersollPrincipal InvestigatorCalifornia Institute of
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