Analysis of Pioneer Saturn results continues



Through clever analysis of the Pioneer 11 results for Saturn, Francis Birch (see Forum) has deduced that Saturn's core must be composed of lighter materials than those of the earth's core. The original summary in EOS (‘Pioneer Saturn Results Summarized’) did not contain such analysis because the celestial mechanics and gravitational data from Pioneer 11 that were released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) were then only in crude form. For example, at that time, values for the core radius were uncertain by at least ± 10%, and for the core mass by +30% to 100% (this tolerence still does not weaken Birch's conclusions).