DPS 34th Meeting, October 2002
Session 22. Titan
Oral, Chair(s): M.E. Brown and A. Coustenis, Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 10:10-10:30am and 11:00am-12:30pm, Ballroom

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[22.09] Adaptive Optics Imaging of a Double Stellar Occultation by Titan

A. H. Bouchez (Div. of Geol. and Planetary Sci., Caltech), R. A. West (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), M. E. Brown (Div. of Geol. and Planetary Sci., Caltech), M. Troy (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), R. S. Burrus, R. G. Dekany (Palomar Observatory, Caltech)

We present resolved images of the occultation of a binary star by Titan, recorded with the Palomar Observatory adaptive optics system on 20 December 2001 UT. These constitute the first resolved observations of a stellar occultation by a small body, and demonstrate many unique phenomena not previously observed. Multiple refracted stellar images are visible on Titan's limb throughout both events, and precise astrometry has allowed us to use these to map the oblateness of Titan's atmosphere at the millibar level. Furthermore, the haze optical depth at two altitudes over each pole of Titan is sampled by the refracted starlight, allowing a unique comparison of the haze structure above the summer and winter poles to be made. We will present a movie of the imaging sequence.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.